Lasting Powers of Attorney and Incapacity
Lasting powers of attorney (LPAs) and advance decisions to refuse treatment (ADRT) are separate to your Will. They work by effectively allowing you to put in place safeguards to ensure that your wishes for your health, welfare, property and financial affairs are respected, especially when you are no longer in a position to decide for yourself or communicate those wishes.
We recommend that an LPA is usually considered at the same time as a Will is put in place or amended. It is extremely important to note that you cannot make an LPA once you have lost capacity so you need to plan ahead. It is heart breaking when we are unable to assist clients who have left things too late.
Why do you need an LPA?
You may want a loved one or a friend to help look after your affairs if you feel like you need assistance with managing your financial affairs, or in the future if you become unable to do so for yourself. The person who you choose to look after your affairs is known as your Attorney.
An LPA may help if you are going abroad or unable to travel and a matter needs to be attended to. Even though you may have capacity your attorney can deal with things on your behalf provided the LPA has been correctly drafted.
You may simply be concerned about becoming ill or losing mental capacity. An LPA can not only help when you are at your most vulnerable but can remove legal obstacles for your family who you wish to be cared by.
A spouse, partner, or “next of kin” do not automatically have authority to deal with your financial or personal affairs which is why an LPA can be invaluable. If you do not have an LPA and lose mental capacity, the Court may need to be involved in making decisions on your behalf. This may be costly and may not take into account your personal preferences or wishes if they have not been communicated. We can advise on the steps that can be taken should a loved on lose capacity without an all important LPA in place.
If you do not wish to burden your family or friends with the responsibility of being your attorney then we are happy to assist.
Contact Simon Lofthouse for more information. E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org or call 00 44 1534 733030.