Lasting Power of Attorney
What is Lasting Power of Attorney?
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that allows you to appoint people to manage your affairs when you no longer can. Independent of a Will, a Lasting Power of Attorney gives you peace of mind that your future is in safe hands.
Contact us today for more information about creating a Lasting Power of Attorney.
How does Lasting Power of Attorney work?
Simply choose someone you trust to be your ‘attorney’ and decide when you would like them to start acting. You can choose several people or a professional. Severn Estate Planning can even register your Lasting Power of Attorney for you, making the process as easy and simple as possible. If you don’t choose this option, you must self-register with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) before your document can be used.
The types of Lasting Power of Attorney
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney to choose from. Depending on your wishes, you may choose one or both. As long as they are over 18, you can choose anyone to act as your attorney. They could be your partner, or a trusted friend. But for a Property and Affairs LPA, your attorney cannot be bankrupt.
Health and Welfare
Property and Financial Affairs
This covers decisions surrounding your bills, finances and property. It can include collecting a pension or benefits, and even selling your home if necessary.
You can choose when you would like your attorney to have power, now or in the future.
An attorney’s responsibilities
When making decisions on your behalf, your attorney must follow the rules stated in the Mental Capacity Act:
They must consider your past and present wishes
They can’t take advantage to benefit themselves
They must keep all of your money separate from their own
- Jointly: decisions are always made together
- Jointly and severally: decisions are made together and individually
If your attorney dies and you don’t have a replacement, you must inform the OPG and appoint a new attorney.
What happens without a Lasting Power of Attorney?
If you lose legal capacity and you haven’t set up a Lasting Power of Attorney:
- The courts may appoint someone to manage your financial affairs
- Doctors could over-rule loved ones' decisions on health matters
- Friends and family may need to go to court to get authority to act on your behalf
- Joint bank accounts could be severely restricted
A person can apply to the Court of Protection to become a ‘Deputy’ of someone who has lost mental capacity. Once authorised, they must send an annual report to explain any decisions they have made as a Deputy.
Save your friends and family worry, time and money in the future by setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney today.
If you want to know more about Lasting Power of Attorney, click below to visit our Power of Attorney FAQs page.
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