Lasting Power of Attorney
A Lasting Power of Attorney (“LPA”) is a legal document that lets you appoint one or more trusted people (referred to as “Attorneys”) to deal with your affairs on your behalf in the event that you are unable to do so yourself. They were introduced in October 2007 replacing the previous version which was known as an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA).
If you were to lose the mental capacity to make important decisions about your health, welfare and financial issues a Lasting Power of Attorney would allow one or more trusted people to make these decisions on your behalf, ensuring your interests are looked after whatever the future brings.
At Sarah Dixon & Co Solicitors, we believe that it is worth planning ahead now so that if in the future you become unable to manage your that there is someone there who can take over and make sure that you are properly looked after at this difficult time.
Types of LPA
There are essentially two types of LPA
- A Property & Financial Affairs LPA – which gives your Attorney(s) the ability to make financial decisions on your behalf relating to issues including:
- Your home;
- Your bank accounts, investments and savings;
- Any business you are involved in;
- Receiving income or inheritances that may be due to you.
- A Health & Welfare LPA – only able to be used after you have lost the capacity to make decisions regarding your personal welfare this gives your Attorney(s) the ability to make decisions about your personal welfare including where you should live, consent to medical treatment and your day-to-day care.
You can, however, also make a Business LPA that deals purely with your business interests and appoints someone suitably qualified to take over your business in the event that you can no longer do so.
Whether you wish to create or update an LPA, or replace an existing Enduring Power of Attorney, Sarah Dixon & Co Solicitors have the experience and expertise to help you to create and then, when necessary, register the Power of Attorney in as simple and stress-free a way as possible.
Is my EPA still valid?
An Enduring Powers of Attorney is similar, although not identical, to an LPA and was replaced in October 2007. Although you cannot create an EPA now (it has to be an LPA), any EPA that was made before October 2007 can still be used. To be effective, the EPA must be registered with the Office of the Pubic Guardian which is something that we can assist you with.
Why do I need an LPA?
You may be wondering why, if you have made a Will, you also need to make an LPA. The difference between the two documents is simple, really. A Will appoints people who can look after your affairs following your death whereas an LPA appoints people to look after your affairs during your lifetime should you no longer be able to do so. Suppose, as an example, that you were to have an accident or an illness that meant that you were unable, either physically or mentally, to be able to manage your affairs or make decisions. Someone would need to be appointed to deal with things for you. Even your close family would not automatically have the right to deal with matters such as your house, your savings and bank accounts or your business.
Without an LPA an application would need to be made by someone close to you to the Court of Protection for them to appoint a “Deputy” who would be able to deal with your affairs. Not only can this be a costly process but also it can take many months, during which time no one would be able to manage your affairs for you.
Making an LPA now, whilst you are in a fit state to do so, is not only cheaper and easier but gives you the ability to appoint a person that you would like to handle your affairs for you rather than letting the Court of protection decide.
Let Sarah Dixon & Co Solicitors help.
Sarah Dixon & Co Solicitors have helped clients put in place Lasting Powers of Attorney for many years. We understand that issues such as these can be both confusing and sensitive and not always something that you will want to think about. We can offer you sympathetic and practical support to make sure you put in place the right protections so as to ensure your future wellbeing and explain the options to you in a straightforward and understandable way.
Court of Protection
If a family member or friend has lost mental capacity – possibly as a result of Alzheimer’s Disease, dementia as the result of an illness or accident – then it is necessary for someone to take over the management of the day-to-day affairs such as finances, health and personal welfare.
If that person has not appointed someone to be their Attorney under an LPA or EPA then someone will have to be appointed for them. That appointment, of a person known as a Deputy, will be made by the Court of Protection.
Sarah Dixon & Co Solicitors are specialists in Court of Protection issues and can advise and represent you through every stage of the Court of Protection process, ensuring the care for the individual in need of protection.
What is Involved?
The Court of Protection will first of all need to decide whether the individual in question is mentally capable of making decision. If they are not then the Court will either make a one-off order to deal with a particular situation or, if there is a likelihood of continuing issues arising, appoint a Deputy to make decisions for the individual.
The Court of Protection can also make other decisions such as whether to execute a Will on someone’s behalf, whether an LPA or EPA is valid, what should happen if there is a dispute regarding a person’s affairs or whether financial gifts on behalf of the person should be made.
Sarah Dixon & Co Solicitors have a experience of all these issues and more and can assist you in a sensitive and caring way. Our approach is both personal and supportive and will help you to make the right decision at what is a very difficult time.