The Law Society have recently issued guidance to the general public ‘Because of the significant influence a power of attorney places over your affairs, it is important to get legal advice from a solicitor on whether it is right for your circumstance’.
Our Wills, Probate and LPA expert Alison Griffiths has some advice for people who are considering having an LPA drawn up.
If you’re faced with the prospect of a debilitating or degenerative illness or are concerned about being able to manage your affairs as you get older, then a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is probably something that you should consider as this legal document nominates a trusted relative or friend or your solicitor to look after your affairs if you lose the capacity to make those decisions.
There are actually two types of LPA’s to consider – one for finance and property and another for health and welfare with these two separate legal procedures being independent of one another. A financial and property LPA nominates a person/s to manage day-to-day financial and asset decisions and is usually drawn up when an elderly relative goes to live in a residential or nursing home and can be revoked at any time whilst the person retains capacity to make decisions. The health and welfare document nominates a person/s to make decisions over day-to-day healthcare and medical treatments and any social care contacts when mental capacity is lost.
There are many advantages of having an LPA:
- You choose a person/s to act on your behalf if you become mentally or physically incapable of managing your affairs
- The Court of Protection has very little involvement saving time and court fees.
- Your legal representative doesn’t have to prepare annual accounts which would be another expense on your estate.
- You can let someone else look after your affairs – this is usual when people go into a residential or nursing home.
- An LPA can give you peace of mind knowing that if you were to become mentally incapable of looking after your affairs, the LPA can provide you with protection and your nominated representative can handle your affairs on your behalf.
- You can draw up an LPA if you are over 18 and have full capacity.
- An LPA can be revoked at any time whilst you have capacity.
Alison’s expertise in drawing up LPA’s can provide you with peace of mind. Her personable and empathetic approach to understanding the complexities that sometimes surround the daunting prospect of losing the ability to make decisions when faced with a degenerative illness, make the whole process easier to work through. If you’re considering having an LPA drawn up, then give Alison an initial call on 0117 973 1391 to discuss your requirements.