by Christopher Ward

Professional, Friendly & Affordable Estate Planning throughout Northamptonshire, Bedfordshire & Leicestershire

Friendly, no obligation advice in the comfort of your own home

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                                  or e-mail us your query to willsathome@mail.com      

                What is Lasting Power of Attorney?

Thinking and talking about what would happen if our faculties deserted us is uncomfortable. Yet it's important to consider how much worse the situation would be if you had a stroke, serious accident or dementia (eg, Alzheimer's) without sorting it first.
If someone has difficulties that mean they can't make decisions anymore, they will need help managing their finances.

Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document where someone (while they still have mental capacity) nominates a trusted friend or relative to look after their affairs if they lost capacity.

Don't think you suddenly give up control. You can choose whether it can be used either before, or only when, you lose mental capacity.

Your representative should only ever make a choice for you if you're unable to make that specific decision at the time it needs to be made.

For example, if you fall into a coma, your representative would start looking after your affairs. Yet if you wake from the coma, you should be able make to your own decisions again.

There are two types of LPA: one for finance and property and another for health and welfare.  The processes are similar for both. Though a key difference is the health and welfare one can only be used after the person loses capacity - there's no option to use it before.

Why set up a Lasting Power of Attorney?

If you lose mental capacity, unless you've already filled in the Power of Attorney forms, your loved ones will need to apply through court to become 'deputy', a long and expensive process. You may be thinking "this doesn't affect us, we're perfectly well". This is a common misunderstanding. The key thing to remember is...You can only set up a Lasting Power of Attorney when you have mental capacity. Once you've lost capacity, it's too late.



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