Personal Lasting Power of Attorneys
Just as a Will details your wishes regarding what is to happen to you and your estate after you pass away a Personal Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that lets you engage one or more people to help you make decisions or give them the power to make decisions on your behalf whilst you are alive should the time ever arise where you find yourself in a situation where you become temporarily or permanently incapacitated due to illness or senility. For example, through a severe accident or as a result of an illness such as Dementia, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson Disease.
In addition to Personal Lasting Power of Attorney I also offer Business Lasting Powers of Attorney.
Without a Lasting Power of Attorney
Without an LPA in place, your family will not have legal authority to deal with your affairs. The government through the court of protection would then take control and appoint a deputy to represent you which may be a court official or the local authority. This could result in a complete stranger having access to your financial records with health and welfare decisions left in the hands of those unfamiliar with your wishes.
Without an LPA in place, joint bank accounts will be frozen restricting your partner or loved ones access to any monies held in your account to pay for household bills, your care or any organisations they may wish to purchase equipment from e.g. special beds or chair lifts.
Without an LPA in place If you become temporarily or permanently ill it is possible that a medical panel or social workers will decide if you are allowed to leave hospital, if you should be sent to a care home or if you are allowed to return to your own home.
Formed of two parts: Health & Welfare and Property & Financial Affairs, these powerful documents must be prepared and registered with the Office of Public Guardian (OPG) before you lose the mental capacity to act for yourself. Court fees currently are £82 (per document). However if you earn less than £12,000 you might be able to get a reduction. You might also be able to get an exemption if you are on certain benefits, such as income support. We are happy to apply for this on your behalf.
Health & Welfare
This deals specifically with appointment of one or more people to manage your care and medical treatment if you are unable to do so. Once registered it gives these electives the authority to make decisions in accordance with the wishes you have expressed to them and not the views of medical panels, social workers or care workers.
Property & Financial Affairs
This deals specifically with appointment of up to 4 people (plus 4 reserves) and/or a trust corporation to be your attorneys and make decisions about your property and financial affairs in the event that you can no longer do so yourself. Without clear directions in place legally your money cannot be accessed by anyone else but once registered your attorneys can begin acting on your behalf. There are strict rules preventing your attorneys from using your assets for anything other than your benefit. It is possible to include a condition that the LPA should not be used until you have lost the capacity to make decisions. You can also set restrictions and leave guidance on what decisions they can make. These can include such things as selling your property or other assets, accessing your bank account, paying bills and paying for your care
What should I do now?
Click here to schedule a FREE consultation. We are happy to advise and can act on your behalf for a significantly lower cost than a solicitor would charge to achieve exactly the same outcome.