While many individuals may think of the elderly when they think of a Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA), this powerful legal document is not only relevant for those suffering from cognitive decline such as dementia but LPAs are also invaluable for younger people too, as mental and physical incapacity can strike at any time following an accident or illness for example.
This is why you should plan ahead when it comes to LPAs, as it eases the potential strain on family and friends should you lose capacity in the future. Without an LPA in place, your chosen Attorney(s) would have to apply to the Court of Protection to gain access to your finances and to be able to make decisions relating to your healthcare, which can be time consuming, stressful and costly.
Lasting Powers of Attorney - What Exactly Is An LPA?
A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document that provides another individual with the legal power to make decisions on your behalf. This may include managing certain or all aspects of your financial matters and/or health and welfare decisions when you’re no longer able to do so.
The two types of LPAs are Property and Finance LPAs which relate to all money matters and can be used while the person still has capacity; and Personal Welfare LPAs which cover decisions on welfare and health matters and can only be used after the person has lost capacity.
LPAs are recognised by financial institutions, tax, benefits and pensions authorities, care homes and local authorities.
You can choose anyone over the age of 18 whom you trust to be your Attorney, provided they are not bankrupt and are happy to take on the responsibility. You can decide which decisions the person will have the legal right to make or to allow the individual to make all decisions in your best interests.
How Is An LPA Set Up?
LPAs can be relatively straightforward to create, although it’s advisable to seek professional advice from a solicitor especially if you want to put particular restrictions in place regarding what your chosen Attorney can and can’t decide.
Lasting Powers of Attorney are important documents so it’s worth ensuring you get yours just right. By using a solicitor to advise you and to check the contents of your LPA before you have it signed by a Certificate Provider, you could save your chosen Attorney(s) a great deal of potential difficulty in the future.
For more information on Lasting Powers of Attorney or for professional legal advice on setting an LPA up, contact our solicitors on freephone 0800 988 3674 or 01244 311 633 or email firstname.lastname@example.org