Lasting Power Of Attorney
Often, lasting powers of attorneys (LPA) are associated with the elderly. This is a misconception that needs to be addressed.
Currently only 6% of the population have either a LPA or Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA). They are a protection product as important as any other such as life insurance or buildings insurance.
A LPA is a legal document that enables a chosen attorney to look after your affairs or make decisions on your behalf if you are incapacitated. They can only be used in the specific circumstances specified in the document.
What Is A Lasting Power Of Attorney
A lasting power of attorney is a legal document that gives a person (attorney) the power to act on behalf of another person (donor).
The document provides the attorney with the power to conduct limited acts and depends on the type of LPA.
All decisions must be made in the best interests of the donor. Choosing the right attorney is imperative. You should choose someone you trust that will take the responsibilities of being your attorney seriously.
There are the two types of LPAs:
Property and Financial Affairs
Health and Welfare.
Property & Financial LPA
Without a Lasting Power of Attorney it can take the Court of Protection between six and 12 months to appoint a deputy; this is also extremely costly.
During this time the person who has lost capacity has no one looking after their financial affairs. Joint Accounts are frozen in many cases and access to funds could be limited.
Having a LPA in place helps our clients protect their family from adverse issues.
Decisions that can be made using a Property and Financial Affairs LPA include:
• Bank Accounts can be operated
• Property can be bought, sold and leased on behalf of the donor
• Dealing with tax affairs
• Paying bills
• Paying for care
• Investing or saving
• Buying and selling stocks and shares
• Making limited gifts
Health & welfare LPA
Everyone should have one in place. Dementia and strokes are often associated with older people but in reality an accident or illness can happen to anyone.
It can also take several weeks to register a LPA and therefore should be sorted as soon as possible. It is often the protection missed.
Decisions that can be made using a Health and Welfare LPA include:
• Decisions on where a person should live
• Decisions on day-to-day care
• Who donor can have contact with
• Social activities they can participate in
• Consent to medical treatment
• Refuse medical treatment