What is Lasting
Power of Attorney?
Commonly known as an “LPA”, a Lasting Power of Attorney arrangement deals with your wishes for your financial and property affairs or your health and welfare during your lifetime should you lose the capacity to make decisions for your yourself. It complements a will because it allows your loved ones or your business partners to ensure that your affairs and wellbeing are looked after whilst you are alive and need help.
Why does it matter?
If you lose mental capacity, you may become unable to make decisions, sign papers, pay bills, deal with your investments and so on. However, without an LPA, no one else will be able to either. An LPA authorises your chosen “attorneys” to take charge of the paperwork in accordance with your wishes and, crucially, in your best interests.
What happens if I don’t have an LPA?
Your loved ones and/or business partners will not be able to charge of your affairs without making an application to the Court of Protection which can be a very drawn out process and cost a lot money. This may mean that decisions which affect you are left in limbo.
How does it work?
You can appoint anyone willing to act for you, whether it is a relative or close friend, as long as they are over 18 and solvent. It is obviously key that you choose someone you know well and trust to make decisions which are in your best interests.
We suggest that you select more than one attorney so that your attorneys can act together on your behalf and one or more of them can also take decisions and act separately for you. If one Attorney refuses or becomes for any reason unable to act, the LPA can still continue with the remaining Attorney(s). You can set out whether you want decisions taken jointly, place limits on expenditure and so on and we would recommend that you take professional advice here.
Once your LPA is complete, it is then registered with the Office of the Public Guardian and it will then be ready for if and when it is needed.