Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA’s)
Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA)
Who is going to be there for you if you suddenly can’t act for yourself? More and more of us have our minds or bodies stolen by Parkinson’s, Dementia, Alzheimer’s etc. Sadly, every 90 seconds, someone is admitted to A&E with a brain injury.
You probably know who you would LIKE to have in your corner – but if you don’t give them your permission – formally – as much as you want them to, they won’t be allowed – the Authorities have the power.
Giving your permission is easy and inexpensive.
Trying to put things in place when it is too late is very difficult and costly.
Property & Finance: From as simple as going to the bank for you or paying your bills to as complex as making sure your property sales is dealt with properly or a Legal matter is seen through.
Health & Welfare: If you can’t speak up for yourself, who will make sure you stay at home; or go to a place of your choice; or have the treatment; or not?
And if you don’t have LPA’s in place?
- It means that your wife, husband, children, friend has NO say as to what happens. You are in the hands of strangers. They mean you no harm, I’m sure – but they don’t know you.
- And if you want to get an LPA equivalent (Deputyship order) put in place AFTER the event it is going to be VERY intrusive and cost a LOT MORE (over £1500+£320 per year to renew) https://www.gov.uk/become-deputy/fees
This is at least as important as your personal LPA’s – but probably involves a different Attorney. It deals with Property & Finance only – but your Bank, your suppliers, your customers: they need to have confidence that you have made plans should something unforeseen happen to you. Who can sign cheques or authorise payments? Who will keep the business on course until you return?
To find out more call or email using the details below.
Here are a dozen reasons why having a Lasting Power of Attorney is good sense
1) You control an LPA
You can name the person you want to act as your attorney, whereas if you are incapacitated without an LPA, decision-making responsibilities could be awarded to anyone by the Court of Protection – including, for example, a relative who you don’t believe has your best interests at heart.
2) An LPA is ‘lasting’
That L is important. An ordinary power of attorney can be made in good health, but will be revoked by mental incapacity. An LPA not only lasts beyond the point of incapacity, but is generally not even triggered until that point, when it is needed most.
3) There are two ‘flavours’
Perhaps you want someone to help with your finances, but you are still mentally capable of managing your affairs in general. Or perhaps you want to appoint an attorney specifically to decide on your health care provision.
LPAs come in two forms: property and affairs, and personal welfare. The latter can only be used when you are no longer able to make your own decisions about healthcare and welfare, so nobodywill take your rights away from you until it is absolutely necessary.
4) You cannot be coerced
Any new LPA must be discussed with a certificate provider, which is either a professional, or someone you trust, who must verify that you know what you are agreeing to and that you have not been coerced into signing.
5) LPAs must be registered to come into effect
As mentioned above – but worth stressing again – an LPA only comes into effect when it is triggered or ‘registered’. Property LPAs can be triggered while you are still mentally capable, to appoint an attorney to help you out, whereas welfare LPAs are solely for when you cannot decide for yourself
6) You can state limitations
If you want to limit your attorney’s powers, you can do this by clearly stating limitations on the LPA.
However, bear in mind that once you are mentally incapacitated, you will be unable to lift any such limits to grant more general powers – so don’t restrict access to parts of your life that you will want them to manage for you later down the line.
7) You can name multiple attorneys
You can grant rights to several different people if you want, who can make decisions together or separately. If each has individual decision-making responsibility, this also ensures you still have representation if one of your attorneys dies.
8) You can nominate successors
If you only want one attorney with responsibility, but you want someone in reserve in case your first choice dies or is incapacitated in their own right, you can nominate a successor to take over the role when it becomes appropriate for them to do so.
9) Financial powers are limited
Your attorney can’t just give away all of your money. Financial gifts are capped, and a court order will be needed to approve more sizeable gifts of your money to other people. Similarly, professional financial advice must be sought before your attorney can make investment decisions on your behalf, protecting you from them speculating too wildly with your money.
10) You are protected
The Court of Protection can revoke LPAs and can be asked to rule on whether or not they are valid.
Meanwhile, the Office of the Public Guardian can be contacted when incidences of abuse by attorneys are suspected, or if they do not appear to be acting in the best interests of the individual.
11) An LPA is faster
The Court of Protection exists to make sure your family gets the access to your finances that they need if you are incapacitated, but without an LPA that can take a long time to put into place, which can leave your loved ones to face hardship in the meantime. With an LPA it’s clear who gets access
to your money and as soon as it is registered, they can start using it to make sure your family is properly looked after.
12) It gives you peace of mind