Lasting Powers of Attorney offer long-term security and peace of mind. At Underwood Solicitors, we can advise you on which sort of LPA (if any) is suitable for you, draw up the document itself and register it on your behalf.
What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
A Lasting Power of Attorney lets you nominate someone you trust to look after your affairs if, for whatever reason, you’re unable or unwilling to do so. One in three over-65s in the UK will develop dementia, the leading cause of loss of mental capacity, so it’s important to plan ahead in order to protect yourself and your assets.
There are two types of LPA:
- Property and Financial Affairs
- Health and Welfare
A Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney gives your nominated representative (your ‘attorney’) the power to conduct your property and financial affairs on your behalf. This could include collecting your income or benefits, paying your bills or selling your house (for example, to cover care home fees). This sort of LPA is effective from registration, whether or not you’re capable of acting for yourself, so it’s not uncommon to prepare and sign an LPA and then keep it safe until it’s needed.
A Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney gives your attorney the power to decide where you live and approve (or refuse) medical treatment on your behalf. These decisions will typically reflect your wishes as set out in the document itself. This sort of LPA only becomes effective if you lose mental capacity, and only stays active for as long as you can’t make decisions for yourself.
Should I make a Lasting Power of Attorney?
A Lasting Power of Attorney isn’t the only way for a trusted friend or family member to look after your affairs, but it’s by far the simplest. Without an LPA, the only option is for your representative to apply to the Court of Protection and be authorised to act as a deputy. This is a complex, protracted and expensive procedure, and your deputy will be required to report their actions regularly to the Court.
If you have a chronic illness (with or without a dementia element), registering a Lasting Power of Attorney allows you to safeguard your future as well as choosing a representative who has your best interests at heart. Regardless of your medical history, you might prefer to let your spouse, business partner or child manage some matters on your behalf.
Underwood Solicitors can draw up an LPA on your behalf and register it with the Office of the Public Guardian, or cancel an LPA that’s no longer required. Please contact us for more information or to book an appointment.