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Wills & Estate Planning

Lasting Powers of Attorney

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Lasting Powers of Attorney

A lasting power of attorney (LPA) helps you to transfer your authority to someone that you trust so that they can make decisions for you when you are unable to do so. When you are drawing up an LPA, it gives you a chance to choose someone that can carry out your wishes. You can also include restrictions or specific instructions on matters that are important to you.

An LPA gives your representative, legal authority to make decisions for you. It is therefore essential to set up an LPA while you still are of sound mind to make the decision. Not having LPAs set up later in life could lead to your loved ones facing long, uncomfortable delays and costs trying to get control of your estate through legal means. Most people also wrongly assume that an LPA means giving up control once it is set up. You can choose when the LPA becomes effective, for example, only when you are unable to make decisions for yourself anymore.

There are two different types of LPAs, one covering property and financial decisions, the other covering health and welfare-related decisions. You can have different LPAs for each type, or you can assign one LPA for both aspects. All you need to do is make sure your LPA is registered at the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). You must also be above 18 years and have your full mental capacity during the process of making an LPA for your affairs.

Property and Financial Affairs LPA

A Property and Financial Affairs LPA lets you choose representatives that will help decide how your money and properties are used. A Property and Financial Affairs LPA handles decisions and duties related to bills, cheques, money transfers, salaries, property management and sale as necessary. It is critical to include limitation to a property and affairs LPA if you have doubts or want to have contingencies in the future against malpractice. Having an LPA take care of your financial affairs is important as they can even do so while you can still handle it yourself.

Before nominating someone to be your LPA for Property and Financial Affairs, you need to be sure you know them and can trust them. Your LPA will be responsible for dependents in your absence so ensure that you include your attorneys, witnesses and close family in the process.

Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney

This type of LPA gives an attorney(s) the right to decisions that concern your health and well-being. A Health and Welfare LPA deals with decisions that affect medical treatment, daily upkeep, residential care, support for social services and decisions relating to life. An LPA for Health and Welfare only applies when the appointer is no longer able to make decisions independently. Your health and welfare attorney has the power to choose whether you receive treatment to sustain or end your life. This option is on the form for the LPA appointment for you to decide what you want when the time comes.

You should also bear in mind that your Health and Welfare LPA can overrule any previous decision you have made. If you want your decisions to remain immutable, you will need to state this clearly in your LPA form so that your advance decision cannot be changed. It is also in your best interest to appoint Replacement Attorneys and decide on how decisions will be made. You can have multiple replacements for your attorney so that you can be rest assured that your best interest is secured at all times.

How can we assist?

Our Wills and Estate Planning team at City Legal can help you set up Lasting Powers of Attorney as part of your estate planning. We have a friendly team of professionals that will help you complete any type of Lasting Power of Attorney that you wish to create. We can also provide all the advice and assistance you need on complicated sections, and also help you with document storage so that your wishes can be implemented when the time comes. We are a multi award winning law firm and pride ourselves in being approachable, innovative and always going that extra mile to make sure our clients receive the individual attention they deserve. Our estate planning team maintains a high reputation and is committed to provide clear, transparent and reliable advice to our clients.

Frequently Asked Questions

Who should I appoint as my Attorney?

Your attorney has to be someone that you can rely upon to take decisions for you in the event you lose your mental capacity. It is important to have at least one attorney. It is possible to have more than one attorney; however, this means that there will need to be a consensus before making decisions.

Who can be an attorney?

The person you choose to represent you does not need to be legally qualified. Generally, when making an LPA for Health and Welfare, friends and family are usually the top choice. Your attorney can be your wife, husband or civil partner, brother or sister or close friend.

What rights do my attorney have?

LPAs are subject to the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) regulation as well as the MCA Code of Conduct. There are many rules that an attorney needs to follow including helping you to make decisions, acting in your best interest at all times and ensuring that your rights are not infringed upon while carrying out their duties.

What decisions can an attorney not make for you?

There are many decisions that attorneys cannot make for you including consenting to marriage or civil partnerships, sexual relationships, dissolution of civil partnerships, child adoption decisions, voting during elections and euthanasia. While there are many decisions that your attorney cannot make for you, they can also act to prevent you from being taken advantage of when these decisions arise.

What happens if my attorney can no longer function?

In cases where an attorney loses mental capacity, and chooses to relieve themselves of their duties or due to stipulations of your LPA form, are no longer your attorney, you can nominate Replacement Attorneys that can be appointed when the original attorney is unable to act.
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