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What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

Making a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is just as important as making a Will.

An LPA is a legal document that enables someone you have appointed to have the authority to deal with your affairs and make decisions when you reach a time in your life where you wish someone to take over your affairs or you lack the mental capacity to do so yourself.

‘Mental capacity’ means being able to make decisions. They could be about everyday things like what to wear or when to pay a bill, or more important decisions like making a Will and deciding where to live.

Someone can lack mental capacity because of an accident or conditions such as stroke, dementia or Alzheimer’s.  Creating a Lasting Power of Attorney can save a lot of worry for your family and give you peace of mind that matters will be dealt with by someone you trust.

Two different types of LPA can be created:

  • Health and welfare (healthcare and personal welfare)
  • Property and Financial Affairs (property and money)

The person you appoint to deal with your affairs is known as your Attorney.  Close family members or trusted friends are often appointed as Attorneys but professionals can also be appointed as an alternative. The role of attorney involves a great deal of power and responsibility, so make sure you think carefully about who you choose, as your Attorney can treat your property and finances as their own. You must be able to trust them to make decisions in your best interests.

It is important to note that individuals can only set up a Lasting Power of Attorney when they are able to understand the implications of giving such a power.  Often the need for an LPA only becomes apparent after the person in question has lost the mental capacity to create the same.  In these circumstances, any family or friend wishing to make decisions on your behalf will need to apply to the Court of Protection to be appointed as a Deputy.  This can be a complex and lengthy process.  Quality Solicitors Moore & Tibbits have a specialist Court of Protection team should you require advice regarding this area.

If you haven’t made a Will or it needs updating, why not create a Lasting Power of Attorney at the same time so you have peace of mind that your affairs will be managed in the way you wish them to be.

If you have any query or would like to discuss Lasting Powers of Attorney in more detail we offer free initial advice so please contact our team today on 01926 491181.

 

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