A Lasting Power of Attorney is a vital legal document which appoints a person of trust who will make decisions on your behalf, regarding property, financial or health affairs, at a time in the future when you may no longer be able to make those decisions yourself.
We may not wish to think about what will happen to us if we lose the mental capacity to make decisions about our welfare and finances. Life has, however, already taught us that it’s imperative that we make clear plans for our future.
Who you would like to make those important decisions for you and how you wish to be cared for – these are things to which we should attach great importance. And these wishes are only deemed legal if they are carefully put into effect in the correct legal instrument ahead of time.
We can help you to make a lasting power of attorney tailored to your needs, to give you peace of mind that your interests will be fully protected in the future.
For more information on making a lasting power of attorney contact our team today by phone or complete our enquiry form and we’ll call you back.
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) – is a document which allows you legally to designate one or more people to control your affairs if you find yourself in a position where you cannot do so yourself. This could be the result of injury, illness or a degenerative condition commonly associated with old age.
Before October 2007, a Power of Attorney that could last the incapacity of the person who granted it was known as an Enduring Power of Attorney.
There are two kinds of LPA: Health & Welfare and Property & Financial Affairs.
It may make you feel uncomfortable to think of yourself in a situation in which you can no longer make your own decisions. However, having an LPA in place reassures you that people you trust can make decisions on your behalf should the need ever arise.
The LPA can be activated if you lack mental capacity. This means you do not have the ability to make a particular decision that has to be made at a certain time.
At Lanyon Bowdler, we can help you put an LPA in place for either health and welfare concerns or for your financial affairs. You will then be able to trust that your interests will be protected in the future.
If you require further advice on how to make a Lasting Power of Attorney, contact us today and speak to one of our friendly lawyers.
This is required if you lose mental capacity. It covers decision making such as:
For your LPA to be activated (so that your attorneys can actually make decisions on your behalf in circumstances where you no longer can) it has first to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.
If you authorise, this can be activated when you are still mentally capable but want some assistance concerning your financial affairs.
You can control what decisions are made on your behalf. If you wish, your attorney can be asked to make all of your financial decisions.
Some of the financial decisions covered:
If you lose your mental capacity, and have not already set up an LPA, then your loved ones will be required to apply to theCourt of Protection to become a deputy. This is a long, expensive process.
Instead, you can designate a relative or friend, and then set up an LPA. You can nominate one or more persons to act on your behalf and decide how they can work together.
You may think that you are currently in perfect health and this does not affect you. What you must remember is that the LPA can only be set up when you have mental capacity. If you lose your capacity, then sadly, it’s too late.
There are three different types, each with varying ramifications on what an attorney is able to do and when they are allowed to act on behalf of the donor.
General Powers of Attorney are legal documents which let you (as the Donor of the Power of Attorney) choose a person or people to make financial decisions on your behalf.
They are effective while the donor has mental capacity. If the donor loses his or her mental capacity, the General Power of Attorney is deemed ineffective.
These are usually set up for when decisions have to be taken on your behalf on a short-term basis. It is not a requirement for them to be registered formally.
EPAs – Enduring Powers of Attorney – in terms of their registration requirements have similarities to General Powers of Attorney.
As with a General Power of Attorney they can also be used by the attorney whilst the donor has mental capacity at the Donor’s direction; the difference is that with an EPA the attorney is allowed to make decisions when the Donor can no longer do so themself. In this situation, the attorney must register the EPA with the Office of the Public Guardian.
Even though existing correctly executed EPAs are still valid, they are less common now – you could only create them before October 2007.
Following October 2007, Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) replaced the Enduring Power of Attorney. An LPA allows you to designate attorneys and also substitute attorneys to make decisions about your property and financial affairs; as well as health and welfare concerns. LPAs must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before being used; and, similar to EPAs, the attorney is authorised to make decisions on your behalf should you lose mental capacity.
If you have mental capacity, you can cancel your Lasting Power of Attorney at any time.
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