Your control over who makes decisions on your behalf.
In the future you could possibly find a need for someone to make decisions for you and act on your behalf, in relation to Property, Financial, Health or Welfare matters. This could be for a number of reasons; whether through age, illness, disability, mental incapacity or even just travelling away from home.
You can secure your future decisions now by choosing people you trust to make these decisions on your behalf in a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) document. The people you choose would be your attorneys and whether this is your partner, a trusted relative or a good friend is entirely your choice.
There are two types of LPA – Property & Financial Affairs (PA) and Health & Welfare (HW). These documents have to be made and signed while you have full mental capacity. Before an attorney can act on your behalf, your documents would have to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG).
LPA Property & Financial Affairs (PA)
A Property & Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney (PA) takes care of your financial affairs, property, bank accounts and other assets. Amongst other things, this means that your chosen attorney can pay your bills and deal with your income.
One very good reason to arrange a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) for Property & Financial Affairs is to avoid the possibility of family arguments over who should take responsibility for you and your assets. An LPA can be tailored to meet your specific requirements, so you can hand over as little or as much control as you wish and state under what conditions control should pass to your attorney.
Why do I need an LPA?
If you don’t have an LPA and you lose capacity, the impact on your partner and family can be huge. Many banks, care providers and medical professionals will insist an LPA is in place. Without an LPA you would have to apply to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship order which can take a minimum of 6 months and can cost up to £2,000 per person.
During this time, any joint bank accounts may be frozen and the chosen deputy would be under much closer scrutiny by the Courts and have to submit more documentation – all at a time of great stress and uncertainty.
LPA Health & Welfare (HW)
A Health & welfare LPA (HW) allows you to decide who gets to make decisions on your future care and welfare, and unlike the Property and Affairs LPA, this element will only come into force when you are unable to make your own decisions. It gives your attorney a voice and input about important decisions like where you will live, what type of medical care you receive and even about your life-saving treatment.
Ensuring Your Wishes Are Respected
We will help you decide how to structure your LPA; If you’ve chosen two different attorneys you will need to tell us whether you want to appoint them to act together or independently.
We will also discuss the importance of registering your LPA with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) so that it becomes a legally binding document.
LPAs for businesses
If you are a business owner, it is important to think about what would happen to your business if you were unable to make decisions.
Who would authorise the payment of bills, sign cheques, service a business loan or pay salaries if something happens to you? Would you hope that a colleague or family member will get authority to act on your behalf? this could take some time to sort during which your business will potentially be at risk.
To protect your business, you may wish to talk to us about a separate LPA to cover this.
We make it easy for you
We would always counsel having both types of LPA to ensure your attorneys can fully cater for your needs, whatever situation you find yourself in.
Making an LPA is easy- one of our Award-winning Consultants will visit you in your home, workplace or care facility to discuss and take your instructions to draw up all the necessary paperwork. You tell us who you’d like to appoint as your ‘attorney’ and in what circumstances. Once signed by all parties, LPA documents need to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before they can be used although it is not a legal requirement to do so straight away. If a person was to lose mental capacity before their LPAs were registered for use with the Office of the Public Guardian, their proposed attorneys could register the document on their behalf.
To arrange your Lasting Power of Attorney
call us on 01603 894500 today