Lasting Power Of Attorney

What Is Lasting Power Of Attorney?

Lasting power of attorney gives someone you trust the authority to help you make decisions

As a person’s health deteriorates, it becomes more difficult for them to handle money and financial concerns. They may also become too ill to make health and care decisions. A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document in which one person (the donor) appoints another person to act on his or her behalf (The attorney) has the authority to assist them in making decisions or to make decisions for them.

An LPA is a wholly different document to your Will, even if many individuals put them in place at similar times. At the same time, they are having their Wills made as part of their estate planning. For a large number of people, it gives them peace of mind that someone they know and trust will be able to make decisions on their behalf should they become too unwell to do so.

LPA is for life

If you have an LPA in place, you may rest at ease knowing that someone you trust will take care of your affairs if you become unable to do so during your lifetime. This might happen as a result of a sickness, old age, or an accident. With an LPA in place, your attorney will be able to manage your funds and property, as well as make health and welfare decisions for you.

For your attorney’s consideration, your LPA might include enforceable directions as well as general preferences. Your LPA should represent your specific preferences so that you may be assured that the things that are most important to you will be taken care of.

You can only put an LPA in place if you have the legal ability to understand the nature and consequences of the agreement. You cannot engage into an LPA after this point, and no one may do so on your behalf. Many individuals are unaware that without an LPA in place, their spouse’s next of kin has no inherent legal authority to handle their affairs, thus having to make choices on their behalf may become time-consuming and costly.

There are two forms of Lasting Powers of Attorney in England and Wales. One is LPA for health and welfare and the other is LPA for property and financial affairs. Let’s look at what they can do and advise on below.

Different types of Lasting Power Of Attorney

Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare can generally make decisions about matters including:

  • where you should live
  • your medical care
  • what you should eat
  • whom you should have contact with
  • what kind of social activities you should take part in

Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs decisions may cover:

Using a LPA to manage your affairs

There is no one with the legal power to handle your affairs without an LPA in place, such as accessing bank accounts or investments in your name or selling your house on your behalf. Unfortunately, many individuals believe that their spouse, partner, or children will be able to handle problems on their own, but this is just not true. In these situations, someone would need to apply to the Court of Protection for legal jurisdiction over your affairs, and the Court would make the decision.

Your ‘Deputy’ is the person you choose. This is a totally different form of appointment from being appointed an attorney under an LPA, and it is far more complicated and costly.
If you want to have peace of mind knowing a specific person has the legal power to look after your affairs and you want to make things simpler and less expensive for them, you should seek expert advice about creating an LPA.

Is a Lasting Power Of Attorney right for me?

Using the information we’ve just laid out for you, we hope it’s an easier choice to make. But it can be tough when faced with unique circumstances that every individual faces. With every individual situation there are ramifications and caveats that are impossible to blanket with one solution. Everyone’s financial situation is different and requires bespoke advice tailored to that circumstance.

This is where we come in with our experience, knowledge and tailored approach. We know this can be a very sensitive topic and with our history, can ensure a delicate management of any LPA scenario. Get in touch with us directly today to see how we can help.

Regulatory Statements

Equity Release

Equity Release plans are not right for everyone and it is important that you fully consider your options and receive independent financial advice before making a decision. It is also important that, if you do decide to use an equity release product, you choose one that meets your needs.

Remember that taking an equity release plan is generally a long term option. However, there are flexible plans available that may fit your varying needs and some will allow you to repay in the future without penalties.

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