Susan Steel
Posted By Susan Steel
05/05/2022

As someone becomes more unwell, they’re likely to find it more difficult to manage money and financial affairs, and may become too unwell to make decisions about health and care.  A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document in which someone (the donor) gives another person (the attorney) the right to help them make decisions, or take decisions on their behalf.

An LPA is a completely separate legal document to your Will although many people put them in place at the same time as getting their Will written, as part of wanting to plan for the future.  Many people find it reassuring to know that someone they trust will be able to make decisions on their behalf if they become too unwell.

Manage your affairs

Without an LPA in place there is no one with the legal authority to manage your affairs, for example, to access bank accounts or investments in your name or sell your property on your behalf.  Unfortunately, many people assume that their spouse, partner or children will just be able to take care of things but the reality is that simply isn’t the case.

If you wish to have peace of mind that a particular person will have the legal authority to look after your affairs and you want to make matters easier for them and less expensive, then you should obtain professional advice about putting in place an LPA.

In England and Wales there are two types of lasting power of attorney.

 

Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney

Allows you to name Attorneys to make decisions about your healthcare, treatments and living arrangements if you lose the ability to make those decisions yourself.  Unlike the Property and Financial Affairs LPA, this document will only ever become effective if you lack the mental capacity to make decisions for yourself.

If you can’t communicate your wishes, you could end up in a care home when you may have preferred to stay in your own home.  You may also receive medical treatments or be put into a nursing home that you would have refused if only you had the opportunity to express yourself; and this is when your Attorney, appointed by the LPA, can speak for you.

Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney

Allows you to name Attorneys to deal with all your property and financial assets in England and Wales.  The LPA document can be restricted so it can only be used if you were to lose mental capacity, or it can be used more widely, such as if you suffer from illness, have mobility issues or if you spend time outside the UK.

 

Protecting you and your family should the worst happen

Do you need help managing the financial affairs or health decisions of a relative?  Are you concerned that failing health may leave you incapable of managing your own finances and general well being?  Arranging a Lasting Power of Attorney could be used to protect you and your family should the worst happen.  To find out more, please contact us.

 

THIS ARTICLE HAS BEEN DESIGNED TO ASSIST YOU WITH SOME OF THE GENERAL ISSUES AND TO ANSWER QUESTIONS THAT YOU MAY HAVE.

 

INFORMATION PROVIDED IS ONLY INTENDED TO BE A GENERAL OVERVIEW OF THE LAW IN ENGLAND AND WALES IN RELATION TO LASTING POWERS OF ATTORNEY.

 

WHILE EVERY EFFORT BEEN MADE TO ENSURE THIS ARTICLE'S ACCURACY, IT DOESN'T CONSTITUTE LEGAL. IF YOU ACT ON IT, YOU ACKNOWLEDGE THAT YOU DO SO AT YOUR OWN RISK. PROFESSIONAL LEGAL ADVICE SHOULD ALWAYS BE OBTAINED.

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