Lasting Power of Attorney - Planning Ahead

Look after your loved ones by having an LPAIt is never easy to discuss "end of life" situations, such as funeral arrangements, who is to inherit your estate or that of a parent and what is to happen on a death.  What is more difficult still, is to broach the "what if" scenario, of someone who is losing the ability to manage their own affairs before passsing, either through mental illness, an accident, stroke or a fall.

However by creating both a Lasting Power of Attorney - Health & Welfare Decisions (LPAH) and a Lasting Power of Attorney -  Financial & Property Decisions (LPAF) you can ensure that if you should ever lose mental or physical capacity, your financial affairs and personal welfare will be looked after by someone you trust (known as your attorney) and someone you have been able to make aware of your future wishes.

An LPA can be made ONLY whilst you are still mentally capable of making your own decisions.

For more good reasons to take out an LPA, click here

Lasting Power of Attorney - Financial & Property Decisions

The LPAF allows you to authorise your appointed attorneys (family members or trusted friends) to make decisions about your assets if you become mentally incapable to do so yourself. Some examples of decisons they can make are:

  • Open, close or operate bank accounts.
  • Claim and receive state benefits, allowances, services, financial contributions, repayments and rebates.
  • Make all tax returns and settle any tax claims.
  • Pay household expenses and bills.
  • Pay for private medical care or residential care costs.
  • Buy, lease or sell property.

Lasting Power of Attorney - Health & Welfare Decisions

the LPAH allows your attorneys to make decisions about your social and health care needs at a personal level,  paying heed to your prior wishes and making decisions in your best interests. Some examples of things they can do are:

  • Decide where you live.
  • Make day to day decisions, such as what you will eat or wear.
  • Make decisions about medical care you may receive, including (if you have agreed to it in your LPA) whether or not you will receive life-sustaining treatment.
  • Decide where and when you will go on holiday.
  • Decide what activities you take part in.

When does an LPA come into effect ?

An LPA is not valid unless it is registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. Your attorneys will not have authority to act until the LPA is registered.  Applications can take 12-16 weeks to be registered by the OPG, therefore it's usually sensible to register your LPA as soon as it is drawn up so that there is no time lag once it becomes necessary to use an LPA.

The LPAF can take effect immediately after registration, even if you still have capacity to act, provided you have authorised your attorneys to do this, which can be useful for the elderly who need a little help with their affairs.

The LPAH can only be used once you have lost mental capacity.

Can the attorneys do what they like ?

All LPA attorneys must follow the LPA Code of Practice, which provides guidance on the Mental Capacity Act 2005.  If they do not, and neglect their duties, they can be found guilty of a criminal offence with possible imprisonment. The Office of the Public Guardian have issued a guidance booklet for attorneys.

Download it here:  Guidance for Attorneys -  Property and Financial Affairs / Health & Welfare    

 

How can we help ?

Sage Will Writers for Lasting Powers of AttorneyWe can visit you at home to discuss your wishes and requirements, giving guidance on how to authorise your attorneys to make those decisions. We have received specialised training in this area and can provide good support and advice. We will draw up the LPAs and we can act as Certificate Provider to certify that you are capable to making an LPA.  We can also register the LPAs for you.  If you need any further information or would like to chat about making an LPA, please give us a call on 0118 954 3201 or email Derek@sagewills.co.uk