Too often Lasting Powers of Attorney are only considered by people preparing for the possibility that they may lose capacity in old age but, in fact, they are a very important practical tool for anyone with responsibilities, be it in business or at home.
Sadly, it is a fact of life that an unexpected illness or freak accident can leave anyone in a position where they are no longer able to make informed decisions about their finances, welfare or health.
Whether you are someone planning for later life or a business person looking to protect your position should the worst happen we can offer expert advice in relation to all aspects of a Lasting Power of Attorney.
Our Private Client team has a vast experience in talking you through the process of creating a Lasting Power of Attorney and helping to guide you through the important decisions to give you peace of mind.
Meaby&Co can help advise you on the most suitable person for the role whether that is a family member, friend or independent professional.
We will ensure that any decisions you make are legally binding and carried out with your best interests in mind.
What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that allows you to appoint someone you trust as an ‘attorney’ to make decisions on your behalf if you lose capacity. It can be made at any time whilst you have capacity but can only be used after it is registered with The Office of the Public Guardian.
You must be at least 18 years of age and have mental capacity in order to make an LPA, however should you ever lose capacity in the future, the LPA will continue to be effective and enable your attorneys to manage matters that may have become too difficult for you to manage yourself.
There are two types of LPA:
This type of LPA can allow your attorneys to pay your bills, operate your bank accounts and manage or sell your property or investments, should it become necessary. With this type of LPA, you may also specify that you would like your attorney to act whilst you still have capacity.
This type of LPA can only be used if you have lost mental capacity, and enables your attorneys to make decisions concerning your health and your welfare, such as which medical treatment you may receive, decisions about your diet, where you live and how you spend your time. This LPA also enables you to decide whether you would like your attorney to be able to refuse life sustaining treatment on your behalf.
Your attorneys must act in your best interests at all times, and must assist you in making the decision yourself before they make the decision for you.
On 1 October 2007, LPAs replaced the old form of Enduring Powers of Attorney (“EPA”). EPAs did not require registration until you had lost capacity, and so it would most likely be the case that if you previously put an EPA in place, you will need to register it in order for it to be effective. It is of course still possible to register your EPAs with The Office of The Public Guardian.