Powers of Attorney
It is important to know what steps you can take to choose somebody you trust to manage and protect your financial well-being in the future.
What is a lasting power of attorney?
A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document, that gives someone you trust the authority to make decisions on your behalf which can continue to be operated, if you lose mental capacity through illness, disease (such as dementia) or through serious injury.
Why should I make a lasting power of attorney?
You are only able to make a Lasting Power of Attorney whilst you have the mental capacity to do so. If you lose mental capacity before making a Lasting Power of Attorney this can have a significant impact upon you and your family. Without a Lasting Power of Attorney, your family or friends would have to apply to the Court of Protection to make any decisions about your health care or finances. This can be an expensive and time consuming process at a time that is already upsetting and stressful for those around you. It may also result in the people that you would choose to look after your affairs not in fact being appointed.
We therefore strongly recommend that Lasting Powers of Attorney are entered into before there is ever any risk of loss of mental capacity.
When should I make a lasting power of attorney?
Unfortunately it is very common for people to leave the decision to make a Lasting Power of Attorney until a point when they have already received a diagnosis that could affect their mental capacity. This can cause further complications as a doctors assessment and/or medical reports may be required to prove that you still retain mental capacity before the Lasting Power of Attorney can be completed. We therefore strongly recommend that Lasting Powers of Attorney are entered into before there is ever any risk of loss of mental capacity.
Unfortunately, the loss of mental capacity can affect anyone at anytime. The loss of the ability to make decisions yourself is not something that is confined to a particular age group or a particular type of person. Many people do not like to consider a future where they might become unable to make their own decisions, but preparing for the future with a Lasting Power of Attorney is the best way to ensure that decisions are taken on your behalf by someone who you are confident will act in your best interests.
If you think Lasting Power of Attorney would be helpful in planning for your future, then discussing this with a legal advisor sooner rather than later will enable you to make an informed decision about who you would like to act on your behalf and whether you wish to give any directions or instructions as to how the power can be exercised.
Do I need a lasting power of attorney if I am intending to appoint my wife or husband
It is a common misconception that your husband or wife will automatically be able to make decisions on your behalf. Without a Lasting Power of Attorney even a next of kin cannot take charge of your finances. This includes selling any house that you own together, allocating money for your care or even accessing your individual bank accounts to pay bills. This could create a very difficult financial situation for your loved ones if you have not taken appropriate steps.
Types of lasting power of attorney
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA):
- Health and Welfare LPA
- Property and Financial Affairs LPA
They allow a person or people that you have chosen, to make decisions around your health care, finances or both depending on which LPA you choose to make.
Health and welfare LPA
A Health and Welfare LPA can be used to make decisions about:-
- Where you live
- The type of care and medical treatment that you receive (including life sustaining treatment)
- Day to day matters, such as your diet and routine.
This LPA can only be used when you are unable to make decisions yourself.
Property and financial affairs LPA
A Property and Financial Affairs LPA can be used to make decisions about:-
- Your bank and savings accounts
- Making or selling investments
- Paying your bills
- Buying or selling your house
This LPA can be used, with your permission, as soon as it is registered.
Preparing for the future with a Lasting Power of Attorney is the best way to ensure that decisions are taken on your behalf by someone who you are confident will act in your best interests.
How much does a lasting power of attorney cost?
Our fees for preparing a Lasting Power of Attorney start from £365.00 plus VAT (£438.00).
In addition you will need to pay the court fee of £82.00 on each application.
We do offer a reduced price where we are instructed by a couple to appoint each other as attorney or where we are instructed by one person to prepare both a Property and Financial Affairs LPA and a Health and Welfare LPA.
For further information or to discuss whether an LPA is relevant to your current circumstances please contact us.