When it comes to protecting your own interests as well as those of loved ones, the short answer is that you do need both a Will and a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) in place.
This is because one covers you during your lifetime and the other, after you die.
What Is A Lasting Power Of Attorney?
Many people confuse an LPA for a Will, and vice versa. However, they are very different things.
Making a Power of Attorney means appointing someone or a couple of people whom you trust, to manage all your affairs on your behalf should you ever become unable to do so.
Your appointed person under an LPA has the legal power to make decisions and to act on your behalf and in your best interests if you ever can’t, while you’re alive.
There are 2 types of LPAs:
- Property and financial LPAs
- Health and welfare LPAs
People become incapacitated for numerous reasons, including following a brain injury or dementia. By putting an LPA in place while you’re still mentally capable, you will benefit from peace of mind that your decisions and management of all affairs will be handled by your chosen person or people in the future should you no longer be able to do so.
What Happens If There Is No LPA In Place?
If you lose the ability to care for yourself before appointing an individual under an LPA, then the Court of Protection might not allow you to set up an LPA. If this happens, your family will need to apply to the Court for a Deputyship Order – a long and stressful process that only adds to the emotional stress of this time.
If an LPA has already been made, your trusted person is able to act on your behalf immediately.
What’s The Difference Between An LPA and Will?
An LPA protects you while you’re alive whereas a Will protects your loved ones after you die by ensuring your wishes are carried out.
An attorney is appointed under a Lasting Power of Attorney, to manage your financial and/or health and wellbeing affairs during your lifetime if you ever become unable to do so yourself.
An executor is appointed in your Will, to distribute your estate according to your wishes expressed within your Will.
You can appoint the same person to fulfil both roles – an attorney to act during your lifetime and an executor to act after you die – but you need to appoint them to give them the legal authority to undertake each duty.
How We Can Help You With Your Will & Lasting Power Of Attorney
It’s vital that you make a Will as well as appoint trusted individuals to act on your behalf while you’re still alive, should you ever need them to, by naming them under an LPA.
By doing both, you ensure that you have the legal protection that someone will make the right decisions and fight for your wellbeing on your behalf should you lose the ability to do so yourself during your lifetime, and that loved ones will be cared for and protected after you die.
Our solicitors are trained in the specialist legal knowledge of Wills and LPAs and have extensive experience of helping clients to draft Wills and correctly appoint individuals under an LPA.
To speak to us about making or updating your Will or LPA, please contact us on 01244 311 633 or email email@example.com or complete a Free Online Enquiry and we will soon be in touch.