Making a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) in 2019

Posted on February 5, 2019
Time to get your affairs in order? Alarm clock

Is it time for you to get your affairs in order?

For many of us, the dawn of a New Year brings fresh hopes, aspirations and dreams, with new resolutions drawn up and ready to be conquered. At Jefferies Solicitors, we are encouraging you to make Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) as a key part of your future planning in 2019. Read on to see the main benefits of making an LPA below. 

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)?

If you’ve never heard of an LPA before, you’re not alone! Research from the Office of the Public Guardian shows that almost half of over 45-year olds do not know what they are. Nevertheless, a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) can be a safety net to protect yourself in the future.

In the event that you may unexpectedly experience a lack of ‘mental capacity’, this powerful document allows you appoint one or more people you trust to help you make decisions or to make decisions on your behalf when you are otherwise unable to.

When you may need an LPA

We know that thinking about what would happen if we lost control of our mental capacity is uncomfortable, but the truth is we never know what’s around the corner. Regardless of health or age, unexpected incidents or illnesses can affect any of us. With a recent news report revealing that a 23-year-old entrepreneur in the UK was diagnosed with dementia, it is increasingly clear that life planning is important no matter how old you are. Creating an LPA will provide you the peace of mind you and your loved ones need for the future.

Why you need to secure an LPA

Many people believe that we have a ‘next of kin’ that would be able to make decisions on our behalf if we couldn’t, such as your healthcare and treatment arrangements, but this in fact is not always the case. It’s also widely assumed that a spouse would be automatically able to deal with their partner’s bank accounts and pensions, but this again isn’t always true. The only people that can make decisions on your behalf are those who have been authorised to.

Different types of LPA

There are two types of LPA: one for property and financial affairs, and one for health and welfare. You can choose to make one type of LPA or both:

  • A property and financial affairs LPA will give your Attorney(s) the right to make decisions about your money and property, such as paying bills, collecting pensions and benefits, and managing bank or building society accounts. It may also include, if necessary, selling your home.
  • A health and welfare LPA will give your Attorney(s) the right to make decisions about your daily routine (such as personal hygiene and shopping) medical care and medical treatment, and any care treatment arrangements, such as moving into a care home facility.

Basic LPA requirements

As long as you are over 18 and have mental capacity, you will be eligible to make an LPA. You can choose someone close to you, such as a family member, a partner, or a good friend. Otherwise, you can appoint a professional, trusted to make financial decisions, such your Accountant or Solicitor.

You can also appoint more than one Attorney in your LPA, giving them either joint powers or individual responsibility. For example, you can choose if they act ‘jointly’, meaning they must all uniformly agree, or ‘jointly and severally’, meaning that each Attorney can make decisions on their own. At Jefferies Solicitors, taking consideration of your personal circumstances, we can advise you and guide you through which options would be best for you.

What happens if you don’t have an LPA?

If you do not have an LPA in advance of losing mental capacity, your family or spouse may need to apply to the Court of Protection to be appointed as a ‘Deputy’ to make decisions on your behalf. Unfortunately, these applications are often lengthy and expensive, and can be a huge burden on your loved ones. Sometimes it can take more than six months to be awarded Deputyship and it is likely to be much more expensive than an LPA. It’s best your LPA is sorted now to save time and money in the future.

How our expert LPA solicitors in Essex can help

Our team understand that every individual and situation is unique, and we take a personal approach to preparing your LPA. We will help you clearly understand all of your options, ensure everything is prepared correctly, and that there are no errors or pitfalls in your document. Get in touch with our LPA team today for more advice or to arrange a consultation on 01702 443484.

Don’t leave it up to chance, be sure to sign off 2019 with an LPA.

Speak to an expert today

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