Lasting Powers of Attorney Solicitors
Have you considered who and how decisions would be made for you if you had an accident or became seriously ill?
This could happen at any stage of your life and without warning. Everyday tasks such as managing your accounts, paying bills and maintaining your property would be difficult, as those closest to you cannot simply step in without proper authority.
Decisions may need to be made about your care and treatment, and people you would wish to be involved may be unable to make important decisions for you. By making a Lasting Power of Attorney, you can be sure that the person(s) you trust are able to make decisions for you, in the way you want, when it is needed.
What Is A Lasting Power Of Attorney?
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document which enables you to plan ahead and set out what you would like to happen should you become incapable of making decisions in the future.
You can appoint one or more ‘attorneys’ who will be able to make decisions on your behalf. They could be a family member, friend or professional adviser. He or she must consider your best interests when making a decision on your behalf.
There are two types of LPA:
A property and financial affairs LPA
This gives your attorney the authority to deal with your property and finances when you choose and/or if you lack mental capacity.
A health and welfare LPA.
This allows your attorney to make health and care decisions on your behalf if you lack the mental capacity to do so yourself. This could include giving or refusing consent to the continuation of life-sustaining treatment.
When Should You Make A Lasting Power Of Attorney?
You can only make an LPA whilst you have the mental capacity to understand the scope and extent of the power.
It is important to talk with your attorneys whilst you are able so that they know your wishes and the sort of decisions you would want them to make.
Choosing Your Attorneys
A Lasting Power of Attorney is an important document, and you should take care of who you appoint. Ideally they should be trustworthy and have appropriate skills to make the proposed decisions.
In simple terms, you should consider them to be good decision-makers.
If you wish to appoint more than one attorney, you must set out how you would like them to work together.
You may also choose to appoint a replacement to your original attorney if he or she dies or cannot act for you.
Contact Our Lasting Powers Of Attorney Solicitors
Our team can provide sensitive but practical advice about the provisions you need to take to ensure your financial affairs, living arrangements and medical care will be left in safe hands.
This can give you reassurance that your needs will be taken care of no matter what happens in the future.
Contact our Lasting Powers of Attorney solicitors today to find out more information.
You can call 01903 229999 or email firstname.lastname@example.org
Our Solicitors Answer FAQs About Lasting Powers Of Attorney
When can the attorney act?
Before the attorney can act, the LPA must be signed and registered with the Office of Public Guardian.
The property and financial affairs LPA can be used when you have the capacity to act (unless you limit this), and if you lack the mental capacity to make financial decisions.
The health and welfare LPA can only be used if you lack the mental capacity to make a health or welfare decision for yourself.
I made an Enduring Powers Of Attorney (EPA): will it still be useable?
If you made an EPA before 1st October 2007, it can still be used in respect of your property and financial affairs.
There is more information about this is our blog on the future of Powers of Attorney.
You may wish to make a health and welfare LPA, to cover care and treatment decisions.
What happens if I have not made an LPA Or EPA?
If you lose capacity and have not made an LPA (or have not made an EPA), then it may become necessary for a relative, friend, social services or other professional to apply to the Court of Protection, to be appointed to make decisions on your behalf.
You could potentially have somebody making decisions for you, who you would not have chosen. It could even be someone you do not know and not necessarily a family member.
Getting a Court order can take months and is costly, adding stress to those closest to you.
To avoid this, we recommend that you make an LPA.
Can I get an LPA without paying for legal advice?
Yes, the government provides links on its website to LPA forms which you can download and fill in yourself.
We would always advise on getting some legal assistance to ensure you are providing all the necessary information for your attorneys.
Here’s a short video explaining the benefits of getting specialist advice when getting a LPA.
Your Bennett Griffin Team