What is a Lasting Power of Attorney and why you need it

 

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney and why you need it

According to research, one in three people aged over 65 develop dementia. Furthermore, it’s believed that every 90 seconds, someone with an acquired brain injury is admitted to a hospital in the UK.

While these circumstances can’t be predicted, it’s important that there is a plan in place, ensuring that your best interests and assets are considered in a case where you are unable to make decisions for yourself. This is where a Lasting Power of Attorney (‘LPA’) comes in.

As specified by the Mental Capacity Act 2005 in England and Wales, the purpose of an LPA is to allow you (also known as ‘the donor’) to appoint one or more people you trust (‘the attorneys’) to make decisions on your behalf, concerning your property, financial affairs, health and welfare.

Types of Lasting Powers of Attorney

In UK law, there are two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney – LPA for Health and Welfare and LPA for Property and Finance.

Health and Welfare LPAs are responsible for making decisions concerning your care, place of residence, and provision of treatment in the event of incapacitation or serious illness. On the other hand, LPAs for Property and Finance are focused on what happens to your estate and assets. This includes managing your money and bills, as well as selling or disposing of assets to raise money.

Why is a Lasting Power of Attorney Useful?

Although you are not required to appoint an LPA by law, there are many benefits to registering a Lasting Power of Attorney.

It’s a common misconception that if you lose the capacity to make decisions for yourself, the responsibility would be passed onto a spouse or family member who will be given the right to make medical or financial decisions on your behalf. This isn’t the case.

Without an allocated Lasting Power of Attorney, the power to make decisions which affect you is handed to other individuals, such as social workers and doctors. For your loved ones to be given this right, they would have to apply to become a deputy with the Court of Protection, which means you have no control over who gets appointed. By appointing a trusted person as your LPA, you can be assured that this responsibility is put in the hands of a person you choose and that any decision made on your behalf is in your best interest.

In addition, appointing an LPA in advance is proven more cost-effective in the long run. Becoming a deputy with the Court of Protection can not only be lengthy and complicated, but also much more expensive than appointing a Lasting Power of Attorney with a solicitor.

When setting up an LPA, you provide yourself and your loved ones with a safety net, ensuring that a proper plan is set in place and running in case of unforeseen circumstances. This way, you can be assured that your health and assets are dealt with as you planned, while your family members are left with one less decision to make in a stressful time.

Why Use a Solicitor to make an LPA?

While anyone can make an application for an LPA, it is important to note that it is a powerful legal document which should be looked over by a legal professional who can make sure that it is completed correctly, following all regulations under the Mental Capacity Act. Here at Bookers & Bolton, we will advise and assist you with creating a Lasting Power of Attorney, drafting and submitting the required legal documents to achieve the best result possible.

Our solicitors at Bookers & Bolton will work with you and your family to support you through this complicated and overwhelming process, ensuring that all legal requirements are met in making the application for an LPA. We will sit with you and discuss your needs to properly reflect your instructions in your LPA.

Get in Touch

To speak to a member of our Private Client team, please call us on 01420 558 290/330 or email us at enquiries@bookersandbolton.co.uk. Alternatively, you can visit our office at 6 High Street, Alton, Hampshire, where you will be greeted by a friendly face who can speak to you and assist you with your enquiry.

Useful Information:

You can apply online for a power of attorney: gov.uk/making a lasting power of attorney, or you can contact the Office of the Public Guardian for an application pack:

• by post at the Office of the Public Guardian, PO Box 16185, Birmingham B2 2WH

• by phone on 0300 456 0300 – lines are open Monday to Friday, 9.30am to 5pm (Wednesday, 10am to 5pm)

• by email – customerservices@publicguardian.gov.uk

This blog post is not intended to be taken as advice or acted upon and information may have changed since the article was written. If you are seeking legal advice, please get in touch with our team of solicitors.

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