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Why have a Lasting Power of Attorney …

Date Added 24.05.23

We would all like to imagine that we will always be capable of managing our affairs, but what happens if through mental or physical impairment we cannot?  Planning ahead is essential and Lasting Power of Attorney (LPAs) are a vital part of the process.

The Trusts and Estates team at Tollers is experienced in assisting and guiding our clients through the process of making an LPA to ensure their wishes are respected.

Here they answer some common questions concerning Lasting Powers of Attorney:

Q: What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

A: A Lasting Power of Attorney (‘LPA’) is a document appointing a person (an ‘Attorney’) to manage the affairs of another person (the ‘Donor’) and can continue to have effect  even when the Donor has lost mental capacity.

Q: Are there different types of LPA?

A: Yes – there are two different types of LPA:

Lasting Power of Attorney for finance and property:

The Property and Financial Affairs LPA usually relates to dealings in respect of the Donor’s house, bank accounts shares etc.  It can remain in effect if the person it relates to loses mental capacity at a later date.

If someone owns a business or has an interest in a business they can also make an LPA to appoint a suitable person to make decisions concerning their business interests when they are unavailable or lack mental capacity.

Lasting Power of Attorney for health and care:

The Health and Welfare LPA relates to decisions such as where the Donor lives, life-sustaining treatment, medical decisions, medication and social care.

Q: When can an individual make an LPA?

A: If someone has mental capacity they can make an LPA at any time.  If they lack mental capacity then someone else cannot make an LPA on their behalf instead, an application would need to be made to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship Order.

Q: Can an LPA be used as soon as it has been signed?

A: No.  An LPA must be registered at the Office of the Public Guardian (the government body that administers LPAs) before it can be used.  An application would normally be made when all parties have signed.

Q: Are there safeguards?

A: The advantage of an LPA is that the Donor chooses the people to manage their affairs (the Attorneys).  The Donor can also include within the LPA binding instructions or non-binding advice for their Attorneys.  There is also provision for family members to be notified that the LPA is being registered.

Q: Can the Donor still manage their own affairs?

A: If an LPA is in place the Donor can still manage their own affairs provided the Donor has mental capacity.  If the Donor loses mental capacity the appointed Attorneys will then take over the management of the Donors affairs.

Q: What happens if the Donor dies?

A: If the Donor dies the LPA automatically comes to an end.  The Attorney should send the original LPA and the death certificate to the Office of the Public Guardian as soon as possible.

For further advice and guidance on how to put these important documents in place…Talk to Tollers on 01604 258558 and our experienced Trusts and Estates team will happily assist.

More information can be found here.

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