We are often living longer but not always in perfect health. For example, there are currently over 850,000 people in the UK with dementia, a figure estimated to rise to over one million by 2025.
Planning for the future means preparing for the unexpected – as you grow older, you may need someone else to make important decisions for you.
At Actons, we can help create a Lasting Power of Attorney if you want to ensure your affairs are dealt with carefully and safely.
Our team of specialist lawyers will advise and guide you through the process to prepare a Lasting Power of Attorney – tailored to your circumstances.
What is a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)?
A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document which allows you to give another person (your attorney), the authority to make important decisions on your behalf. You can only make an LPA when you are mentally capable. It’s a vital tool allowing you to make arrangements for the possibility that you may not be mentally or physically capable in the future.
Types of Lasting Power of Attorney
Health and Welfare LPA
These allow your attorney(s) to deal with your medical, welfare and care needs:
- Where you should live
Whether or not you should have a certain type of medical treatment
- Who you should have contact with
- What kinds of social activities you should be involved in.
If a decision has to be made about life-sustaining treatment, your attorney(s) can only refuse or consent if you have said in the LPA that you want them to be able to make that kind of decision for you. Health and Welfare LPAs can only be used by your attorney(s) at a time when you are unable to make such decisions for yourself.
Property & Financial Affairs LPA
These allow your attorney(s) to deal with your property and financial affairs:
- Paying your mortgage and bills
- Buying, selling or arranging repairs to your property
- Investing your money
- Giving people access to your financial information
- Paying for care and other things you may need.
Property and Affairs LPAs can be used by your attorney(s) whilst you are mentally capable and when you are not. This can be a very convenient way to delegate authority to your family.
Making your Lasting Power of Attorney
We will discuss all the issues with you and your family, providing expert guidance on issues including:
- Who should be your attorney(s)
- Someone good at handling their
own money and who has the knowledge
and expertise to be able to deal with your
- Someone who knows you, your values
and beliefs well enough to be able to
make decisions which take your wishes
- Someone good at handling their
- How the process works if you want more than one attorney
- What happens if the attorney is no longer able to carry out the role
- What you would and wouldn’t want your attorney(s) to do. You can restrict certain things for example such as selling certain assets or making gifts over a certain value
- What authority your attorney(s) are to have on the issue of life-sustaining treatment
- How you can give specific guidance to your attorney(s), for example, to consult a trusted advisor or family member before they take certain decisions
- How much it will cost.
We’re here to help
At Actons, we have a team of specialist lawyers who will advise and guide you through the process of preparing a Lasting Power of Attorney – tailored to your circumstances. Contact a member of our team below, for a no-obligation discussion about your options.
What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
A power of attorney is a legal document which allows you to give another person (your attorney), the authority to make decisions on your behalf.
Who can be my Attorney?
Anyone who you implicitly trust to look after your best interests providing that they are over the age of 18 years and are not declared bankrupt.
I have an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA), is this the same thing?
No. EPAs were the predecessor of the Lasting Power of Attorney (Property and Financial Affairs) and only deal with financial issues. They were withdrawn on 1 October 2007 and replaced by the LPA, although any such document which was executed before this date remains valid.
What types of Power of Attorney are there?
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney, one deals with Property and Financial Affairs and the other deals with Health and Welfare issues. You can have one or both types of document.
What can a Lasting Power of Attorney do?
An attorney appointed by a Lasting Power of Attorney can do whatever you can do yourself. They are incredibly powerful documents and should only be signed once the full implications have been explained to you.
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