Queen Elizabeth II 1926 - 2022

Have you considered what might happen if, at some point in the future, you were unable to look after your own property and financial affairs or even your own care and welfare?

Although it may be something you prefer not to think about, we are now generally living longer and so it makes sense to put in place a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).

By making an LPA, you are able to choose who is to have the legal authority to manage your affairs and speak on your behalf if, in the future, you lose capacity to do so yourself because of physical illness, frailty or as a result of mental health issues.

An LPA is a legal document where one person (the ‘donor’) gives authority to another person (the ‘attorney’) to look after and manage their affairs because they are either are no longer able to, or they choose not to.

There are two types of LPA

A Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs covers decisions about money and property.

This type of LPA can be used while you still have mental capacity but you can state that it only comes into force if you lose capacity in the future.

It can cover:

  • Buying and selling property
  • Paying the mortgage
  • Investing money and looking after savings
  • Paying bills
  • Arranging and paying for property repairs

You can restrict the types of decisions your attorney is able to make or you can allow them to make all decisions on your behalf.

A Lasting Power Of Attorney for Health and Welfare only comes into force if you lose capacity and covers decisions about health and personal welfare.

In addition to LPAs, there is also an ordinary Power of Attorney (POA)

An ordinary Power of Attorney (POA) can be very useful. It can be used if you still have mental capacity but you need help from someone to look after your financial affairs on a temporary basis.

For example, you may be going into hospital or on holiday for an extended period and you want someone to act on your behalf.

Rather than conferring a general power, a POA can limit an Attorney to very specific acts.

At the end of that period, or a particular transaction (if for example, you have asked them to sell a property on your behalf) the POA ceases and they have no further power to act on your behalf.

For help and advice with matters relating to both LPAs and POAs, please contact us.

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