It has become increasing common for people to have Lasting Power of Attorney (LPAs) in place to assist them appoint someone they trust to take care of financial and/or health and welfare matters on their behalf which could otherwise be difficult, inconvenient and require a special Court Order. Whilst LPAs are something considered by the older generation, it is advisable, just as Wills, to have this in place earlier to assist in unforeseen circumstances (e.g. imagine you’re the financial provider for your family and have been involved in an accident where you are in a comatose state for several weeks it would be difficult for your family access your finances to meet financial needs without a registered LPA being in place; imagine the same scenario but that your injuries leave you mentally incapable of making decisions, again without an LPA no one has the authority to act on your behalf).
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney:
Health and Welfare – This allows an appointed attorney to make decisions about your medical and welfare care arrangements.
Property and Finance – This allows an appointed attorney to make financial decisions, including management of your property, investments, bills payments and income.
LPA appointment should not be taken light, consideration should be given to:-
How many attorneys to appoint, if more than one how you want them all to act (jointly or severally)
Whether to appoint replacement attorneys in case the main attorneys are unable or unwilling to act
Specific instructions they must follow
Considerations they must have when acting on your behalf
Each attorneys personal circumstance i.e. age, ability to act, domicile, their health etc.
A properly thought-out plan to appoint an attorney is key to safeguarding your wealth and care needs and provide detailed guidance for your attorney.
For some, it may be too late to go down the Lasting Power of Attorney route. Those who have lost capacity (by dementia, brain injury, Alzheimer etc) the only way someone else can manage their financial affairs is by way of a deputyship appointment. The process is slightly more complicated than the LPA and costs more by way of Court fees, has limitations and takes longer to process.
Please contact a member of our experienced team to talk through any questions and queries you have.