Lasting Powers of Attorney
Lasting Powers of Attorney are very beneficial legal documents and are the final piece of the process in planning and protecting your Estate. Through these legal documents you can appoint whom you wish to manage your affairs and estate should you become mentally incapable of managing them yourself. If a Lasting Power of Attorney has not been drawn up, joint assets can be frozen while your family applies to the Court of Protection for a procedure known as receivership – an expensive and cumbersome process.
There are two different types of Lasting Powers of Attorney, namely Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney, and Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney.
A Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney enables you to appoint one or more people to make decisions on your behalf in respect of your personal health and welfare. Your attorney can only use this once it has been registered and when you no longer have mental capacity. Your attorney can make decisions on things such as: •where you should live • your medical care •what you should eat •who you should have contact with •the kinds of social activities you should take part in. You can also give special permission for your attorney to make decisions about life-saving treatment.
A Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney empowers you to appoint one or more people to make property and financial affairs decisions for you. Your attorney can use an LPA for financial decisions while you still have mental capacity but only once it is be registered. Alternatively you can state in your LPA application that you only want it to come into force once you lose capacity. Your attorney can make decisions on things such as: • selling your home • paying the mortgage •investing money • paying bills • arranging repairs to property.
It is a good idea to appoint more than one attorney, however you must decide whether they are to make decisions together or separately. As your attorney is going to have significant power and responsibility it is vital that you select the right person for the role. It’s important that you trust the person or people you appoint. You can appoint a family member, friend, spouse, partner or civil partner. Alternatively, you could appoint a professional, such as a solicitor.
We can guide you through the process and help you to determine what is right for you along each step of the way.