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- Oct-Dec 2011
Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)
"What happens if I can't look after things myself anymore?"
We all know that there might come a time when we may be unable or too frail to look after our own affairs - perhaps through sudden accident or illness, or maybe just because of gradually advancing years. Whatever the cause - who would pay the bills, manage your savings, or even speak on your behalf on medical matters?
Create a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). This lets you choose who you want to manage things for you - be that a relative or a friend. To make an LPA you must be mentally capable - so putting it off now might mean that it cannot be done later.
The LPA legislation came into force on 1st October 2007, replacing the rules for Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA). Existing EPA's remain valid, but only LPA's can be made from this date forward. LPA's come in two versions
A Property and Affairs LPA allows your Attorney(s) to make decisions on your behalf about your property and affairs, including paying your bills, collecting your benefits and other income, or selling your house subject to any restrictions and conditions you may make. It does not allow the person(s) you have chosen to make decisions about your personal welfare (see Personal Welfare LPA)
A Personal Welfare LPA allows your Attorney(s) to make decisions on your behalf about your personal welfare, including whether to give or refuse consent to medical treatment on your behalf and deciding where you live. The person (or people) you appoint as attorney must act in your best interests, and your money and assets remain yours. Nevertheless, you can place restrictions on them within the document if you feel it appropriate. Your Will writer or estate planner can help you with this, and it is usually best done at the same time as making your Will.
What happens if there is no LPA? Your relatives would have to apply to the Court of Protection, in order to be appointed your Deputy. This can be a lengthy and costly process, creating major worry and cost as it is all sorted out. It means that the choice is taken away from you, which might mean that someone you do not like could take control of your finances or could be appointed to speak on your behalf on medical issues.
Take control of your own future by making an LPA and a Will now.
For a free, non-obligatory discussion or to arrange a personal visit, complete our contact form now.
There is no cost for an initial consultation.
An LPA can only be used when it is registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG).