At New Leaf Solicitors we believe in the power of planning. By putting in place a Lasting Power of Attorney you are protecting your property, finances, health and welfare should the worst happen and you lose your mental capacity to deal with your own affairs.
What is a Lasting Power of Attorney and why do I need one?
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document in which you give another person (‘your attorney’) authority to make certain decisions on your behalf if you are no longer capable of doing so due to poor health, an accident, or if you have a degenerative condition such as Alzheimer’s Disease.
If you do not have an LPA and lose capacity there will be no one legally authorised to help you and instead an application will need to be made to the Court of Protection for the court to appoint someone to act on your behalf (known as a Deputyship Order). The process of making a Deputyship Application is costly and time consuming and often takes months to complete, but most importantly it means that whilst the application is going through the court no one can act on your behalf.
There are two types of LPA:-
Property and financial affairs – which allows your attorneys to deal with and make decisions about your house, bank accounts, investments, pension etc. and allows them to communicate with all organisations on your behalf such as the pension service, HMRC and banks.
Health and welfare – which allows your attorneys to make health related decisions and discuss your health with medical professionals and make personal related decisions about you such as where you live, what you eat and what you were. If you specifically allow them, your attorneys can make decisions about life sustaining treatment. A health and welfare LPA can only be used by your attorneys if you have absolutely lost your mental capacity and not before. For as long as you have mental capacity you must make your own health and welfare decisions.
How do I make an LPA?
We can help you make and register an LPA. In the first instance we will meet with you and take from you all your personal information and personal information of your proposed attorneys. We will talk you through the options, discuss with you how the LPA works and ensure that you understand the document and its legal effects. We will then act as your ‘certificate provider’ which is a mandatory part of the LPA. Your attorneys will need to sign the LPA to confirm their acceptance of the role and then we will register the signed LPA with the Court on your behalf. Doing all this up front now means that when the LPA is actually needed it is ready to go without any delays.
Call us today to discuss your options and begin the process.