Along with a Will, we consider a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) to be a critically important document for anyone, regardless of age, marital status or health.
An LPA is a legal document which sets out how you (the “Donor”) want important decisions to be carried out on your behalf should you lose the capacity to do so. Should you become mentally or physically incapacitated (through illness or accident), an LPA ensures your wishes are executed in important areas such as finances, property and medical treatment.
How does an LPA protect your wishes?
Within an LPA, you can state exactly who you want to make those decisions (this person is called the “Attorney”) and over which areas of your life they can act on your behalf. Typical areas of concern are your property, personal welfare and medical circumstances. Having your wishes set out in an LPA ensures only people you trust are able to make decisions on your behalf, and that those decisions will be ones you are happy with.
There are two types of LPA which you can consider, each of which is flexible and adaptable to your individual set of circumstances.
Property and Affairs LPA
This gives your Attorney – the person you have named as the one who will make decisions for you – power to sign cheques, withdraw money, set up direct debits or standing orders and sell property on your behalf.
Personal Welfare LPA
This gives your named Attorney the power to decide where you will live, and whether or not to agree to medical treatment for you.
Within either type of LPA, you can appoint one or a number of Attorneys and specify which decisions each individual must make unanimously and which they can make individually. You can impose restrictions or conditions on the exercise of their powers, give them guidance and even authorise that they be paid for their role.
All LPAs are closely safeguarded
Safeguards are in place to ensure your LPA cannot be abused. At the time the document is drawn up, a qualified professional must provide a certificate to confirm your capacity, stating that the LPA was created without inappropriate influence. In addition, the LPA has to be registered with The Office of The Public Guardian. We advise that one or more people of your choosing are notified as part of the registration process.
We have found LPAs to be a comfort to clients’ loved ones: the document provides a sense of security, enabling them to deal with your affairs in confidence, knowing they are complying with your wishes even though you can no longer articulate them yourself.
We think it is vital we all make preparations so we are properly cared for should we lose our mental capacity through illness or accident. An LPA is the only way in which this can currently be guaranteed.
Our professionals would be happy to guide you through the process of drawing up an LPA which suits your exact set of circumstances.
If you require further information please complete the contact form.