Lasting Power of Attorney
We can provide advice on powers of attorney to manage your affairs in the future when you or your loved one can no longer do so.
What is a Power of Attorney?
A power of attorney is a legal arrangement that provides authority for a person (known as the attorney) to help you manage your finances and wellbeing should you no longer be capable of doing so. The attorney can be anyone you choose, but more often than not it’s a relative, trusted adviser or a life-long friend.
Many people have an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) which could be made up until 30 September 2007. Since that date, although an EPA is still valid and we continue to register them, they have been replaced by the Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).
It’s also important to note that an EPA only gives the attorney effective control over finance and property affairs. It does not confer any authority in matters of personal welfare. Anyone with an EPA would be well advised to consider reviewing their arrangements and updating to an LPA.
There are two types of LPA, which provide different authority to your attorneys:
Lasting power of attorney (property and financial affairs). Your attorney can collect your pension or benefits, pay your bills, deal with your bank or building society, make investments, complete tax returns, buy and sell property including your home and make certain gifts.
Lasting power of attorney (health and welfare). Allows your attorney to do things on your behalf such as buying your clothes, deciding if it is time for you to move into residential or nursing care and give consent to or refuse life sustaining treatment depending on what your wishes are in those circumstances.
More about Power of Attorney
Many of us worry about how we’ll cope in old age or when we lose the capacity to look after our own affairs. A Lasting Power of Attorney can be put in place to answer those concerns and act as a reassurance that your best interests will still be looked after. It can be put in place at any time so that when you need it, you can get help immediately. We know from our own experience in dealing with thousands of clients that putting in place powers of attorney is one of the most important things they feel they’ve ever done.
You can make one form of lasting power of attorney without making the other. There’s no requirement to do both, but a lasting power of attorney must be registered, either by the donor or the attorney, before it can be used.
Appointing an Attorney
There are lots of things you need to think about when considering powers of attorney and appointing an attorney, not least whether you believe the person to be trustworthy and to have your best interests at heart. Our experts will take the time to explain your options.
Arranging a lasting power of attorney helps to plan what happens to you and your finances in accordance with your wishes while you’re alive, but it’s also important to ensure your wishes are carried out on your death. The best way to make sure this happens is to make a will. We can arrange for a will at the same time as helping you with your LPA.