Lasting Powers of Attorney

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A Lasting Power of Attorney – often called an LPA for short – is a document under which a
person (the ‘Donor’) gives authority to one or more other persons (the ‘Attorneys’) to carry
out matters on his or her behalf.

LPAs were introduced to replace Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPAs), which can no longer
be made. However, an EPA made before 1st October 2007 can still be used indefinitely.
(Although, as EPAs don’t apply to health & welfare matters, you may wish to set up a
separate LPA to cover these.)

There are two types of LPAs, either or both of which we should be happy to set up for you.

These are:
– Property & Financial Affairs
– Health & Welfare

A Property & Financial Affairs LPA allows your attorney (who will be a responsible person
or persons of your choosing) to manage your financial and property affairs for you when
you’re unable to do so. This may be temporary, for example if you have had an accident, or
permanent.

This means you can authorise them to write cheques on your behalf, pay bills or claim
benefits for you.

By planning ahead, you’re able to give your instructions while you are of sound mind, and in
anticipation of the possibility of not being capable at some future date.

This provides invaluable peace-of-mind in the unfortunate eventuality of you being rendered
incapable of managing your own affairs.

A Health & Welfare LPA allows you to authorise someone to make health and welfare
decisions for you and can only be used if you lose the necessary mental capacity.

Your attorney will be then able to make decisions about where you live and your day-to-day
care, having already discussed this with you.

They will also be able to refuse or consent to medical treatment on your behalf, if you wish.

So, what are the problems if you don’t have an LPA?

Well, having no LPA in place could cause untold distress to both you and to your loved ones,
creating problems that could easily have been avoided.

If you were struck down by sudden illness or disability (such as a stroke) there would
inevitably be considerable delays before care fees could be paid or your home sold (if
necessary), and important decisions could be made. If you no longer have the mental capacity
to have an LPA drawn up, the Court of Protection would usually become involved with you
having to make an application for a Deputyship Order – a time-consuming, expensive and
frustrating exercise which could have been avoided if a registered LPA Attorney had been in
place.

People ask us what problems might arise by trying to draw one up yourself?

Well, these are generally due to people not having enough knowledge of the law, but then
why would they if they’re not specialist solicitors. For example, you may be your spouse’s
sole attorney, and you may want to downsize and sell your home, which you own jointly with
your spouse. If your spouse has lost their mental capacity, you can’t sign the sale contract on
your home both in your capacity as a co-owner and also as your spouse’s attorney. For that
reason, if your circumstances are similar to this then it would be sensible to have your spouse
and also one of your children as your attorneys so that the problem I’ve just described
wouldn’t arise.

If you think you should have LPAs in place – and frankly we believe that everyone should –
then get in touch and we’ll be happy to discuss them with you and answer any queries you
might have.

Download our free “Lasting Powers of Attorney” E booklet by completing the form below!

 
 
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