Why should you make a Lasting Power of Attorney?
Nobody knows what is around the corner and to ensure your wishes are followed, it can be a good idea to choose someone you trust, to deal with your healthcare or financial affairs should you need them to.
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a document which allows one or more chosen individuals (known as attorneys) to legally make decisions on your behalf. It can only be made at a time when you understand what you are signing. None of us know what is around the corner, so we believe it is always a good idea to have an LPA in place at an early stage when you have the choice of appointing someone you love and trust.
There are two types of LPA:
- property and financial affairs
- healthcare and welfare.
You can choose to make one or both.
Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney
A Property LPA can be used at your direction as a document of convenience, for example if you were out of the country on holiday or required help due to a physical incapacity, but can also then be used if you were to lose mental capacity.
Your attorneys could help you by:
- selling property
- paying bills
- closing bank accounts
- dealing with your tax affairs.
Healthcare and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney
The Healthcare LPA can only be used in the event of losing your mental capacity.
It can give your attorneys authority to make decisions such as:
- where you should live
- decisions regarding your medical treatment
- your day-to-day care.
What if I do not make an LPA?
If you do not make an LPA and were to lose mental capacity, an individual would need to apply to the court to be appointed as your deputy in order to deal with your finances. This procedure is more expensive and can cause a delay and upset at an already difficult time for your loved ones. It can also mean your loved ones are not as involved in decisions relating to your medical treatment and welfare.
How can we help
If you would like to discuss making an LPA or review an existing power of attorney to ensure it reflects your wishes, please contact a member of our Private Client team who will be pleased to help you.
Find out more about Powers of Attorney.