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Lasting Powers of Attorney


What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

It is important when planning ahead to consider how your finances and healthcare will be dealt with in the event of mental or indeed physical incapacity.  The stresses upon you and your family can be significantly reduced by putting in place a Lasting Power of Attorney.

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document allowing named individuals to control your finances and/or welfare. There are two types of LPA:

A Property and Affairs LPA – this gives powers to your chosen Attorney to make decisions about financial and property matters for you, such as managing your investments, pensions, or selling your home.

A Health and Welfare LPA – this gives powers to your chosen Attorney to make decisions about your heath and personal welfare on matters such as your day-to-day care, medical treatment or even where you live. This can also include “end of life” decisions.

Why do I need to make an LPA?

Allowing someone else to have control over your finances or/and health can be daunting. However, if you don’t make an LPA and lose the capacity to deal with financial matters yourself, then someone will need to apply to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship order to be able to act on your behalf. This is a far more costly and time consuming alternative. In addition, you would have no control over who is appointed or the terms under which they are appointed. This would be determined by the Court of Protection.

A Lasting Power of Attorney will empower you with the decision of who can act on your behalf. You can also appoint replacement Attorneys to act in place of your Attorneys if they are unable to act for any reason.

There are many people who think that their husband/wife will automatically be able to access their account if they need to. However this is not always the case; for example, where an account is held in your sole name, the bank may refuse to deal with anyone other than you or your appointed Attorney.

What will be Attorneys be allowed to do?

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 sets out strict rules for your Attorneys to follow. Your Attorneys must always act in your best interests, and consult you as much as possible regarding any decisions. You may also revoke the appointment of your Attorneys in the event that you are unhappy with their appointment, provided you have the requisite capacity to do so. 

You may place restrictions and conditions upon your Attorneys’ actions. Therefore, if there is anything in particular you would want your Attorneys to do or not do, then you may make appropriate provision in the LPA.

However, even with the duties and conditions imposed, you must trust your chosen Attorneys implicitly. They will be stepping into your shoes to make life effecting decisions on your behalf.  

Disclaimer: This article is not intended to constitute legal advice.  For legal advice in connection with the above, please contact us directly.

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