Lasting Powers of Attorney
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that allows you to appoint people to manage your affairs when you no longer can. Independent of a Will, a Lasting Power of Attorney gives you peace of mind that your future is in safe hands.
Contact us today for more information about creating a Lasting Power of Attorney.
How does a Lasting Power of Attorney work?
You can choose several people or a professional. Choose someone you trust to be your ‘attorney’ and decide when you would like them to start acting. Clarke & Wright can even register your Lasting Power of Attorney for you, making the process as straightforward as possible. If you don’t choose this option, you must self-register with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) before your document can be used.
The types of Lasting Power of Attorney
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney. Depending on your wishes, you may choose one or both. As long as they are over 18, you can choose anyone to act as your attorney. They could be your partner or a trusted friend, but your attorney cannot be bankrupt for a Property and Affairs LPA.
Health and Welfare
Allow your attorney to make decisions about your healthcare, consent to medical treatment and accommodation. Your Attorneys can only use it if you cannot make your own decisions.
Property and Financial Affairs
You are covering decisions surrounding your bills, finances and property. It can include collecting a pension or benefits and even selling your home if necessary.
You can choose when you would like your attorney to have power, now or in the future.
An attorney’s responsibilities
When making decisions on your behalf, your attorney must follow the rules stated in the Mental Capacity Act:
- They must act in your best interests
- They must consider your past and present wishes
- They can’t take advantage to benefit themselves
- They must keep all of your money separate from their own
If you appoint more than one attorney, they can act:
- Jointly: decisions are always made together
- Jointly and severally: decisions are made together and individually
If your attorney dies and you don’t have a replacement, you must inform the OPG and appoint a new attorney.
What happens without a Lasting Power of Attorney?
If you lose legal capacity and you haven’t set up a Lasting Power of Attorney:
- The courts may appoint someone to manage your financial affairs
- Doctors could over-rule loved ones’ decisions on health matters
- Friends and family may need to go to court to get authority to act on your behalf
- Joint bank accounts could be severely restricted
A person can apply to the Court of Protection to become a ‘Deputy’ of someone who has lost mental capacity. Once authorised, they must send an annual report to explain any decisions they have made as a Deputy.
Save your friends and family worry, time and money in the future by setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney today.
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