Who decides when you can't?

January 22, 2016

 

Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)

An LPA is a document that you sign to appoint Attorneys (often family members) to act for you should you, for any reason, become unable to manage your own financial affairs, or you were too ill to deal with your own health and welfare decisions.

 

Whilst a Will ensures that your estate is distributed according to your wishes when you die, an LPA protects your assets and you by authorising Attorneys chosen by you to deal with your affairs on your behalf (should you become unable to manage them yourself) whilst you are alive. For example:

 

• You suffer an accident and are confined to hospital or bed

• You suffer a more serious accident which permanently incapacitates you

• You become mentally incapacitated as a result of old age or for any other reason

 

If you have an LPA your chosen Attorney/s can act for you straight away, should you become unable to handle your own affairs or become mentally incapacitated. You can also give your attorneys instructions on exactly how they are to act for you. This keeps financial control within your family.

 

If you do not have an LPA then by the time you really need one it is too late!

If capacity has been lost, it is too late for you to decide who you would want to act as your attorney. The only way that your affairs can then be managed is by an application (by a relative or other person close to you) to the court of protection. This can take up to 12 months to arrange, during which time your finances could be seriously damaged and your health care may not be as you would want. The cost is far less, if done whilst you still have capacity.

 

The person authorised by the court of protection to handle your affairs, on your behalf, is not only unlikely to be who you would have chosen but may even be a Court Official – who can (and will) charge every time he/she acts for you.

 

There are TWO types of Power of Attorney: -

 

Property and Financial Affairs: Attorneys can deal with all financial matters for you. For example – Investment and property decisions.

 

Health & Welfare: Attorneys can deal with your health and welfare need. For example – Medical care, paying bills and the ability to allow or deny life sustaining treatment.

 

Please note existing Enduring Powers of Attorney are still valid however they do not cover Health and Welfare matters.

 

Here at Trust Matters we are able to prepare your Lasting Power of Attorney documents, liaise with the Office of the Public Guardian and register your documents. We believe we offer the most competive price available. 

 

Please contact us either by email or telephone if you are interested and we can start to collect the information needed to prepare the documentation.

 

We look forward to hearing from you.

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