Planning ahead with a Lasting Power of Attorney

Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) are becoming more popular as people plan ahead for a time when they may like or need assistance with their financial affairs or their welfare.

An LPA is a document that you can prepare whilst you still have sufficient mental capacity to do so. You can choose one or more Attorneys to be put in place for the future: a friend or family member, or even professional Attorneys. It enables you to choose those who you trust to look after your affairs.

There are two types of LPA; one covers your finances and the other your health and welfare. Some people choose to have both LPAs in place and others decide on one or the other. Once prepared, your LPA can be put to one side ready for future use.

With regard to your financial affairs, you do not immediately give up control and your Attorneys will only act on your behalf if you ask them to do so or if you have lost your mental capacity. If you are able to manage your affairs but would like some help with communicating with organisations and organising your finances, you can act jointly with your Attorneys.

Alternatively, if you are suffering from an illness that leaves you unable to manage at all, then your Attorneys can step in to pay your bills, manage your assets, sell your home, collect your income, etc.

If you have lost your mental capacity, then any Attorneys appointed under a Health and Welfare LPA can make decisions about your living arrangements, nursing care and even your medical treatment.

The LPA for Property and Financial Affairs replaced the former Enduring Power of Attorney on 1 October 2007. However, if your existing, and properly executed, EPA reflects your wishes, then it remains valid.

The paperwork and process of registering LPAs can seem daunting but our legal advisors at Porter Dodson are happy to assist.

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