It is a fact that most of us are living longer. In an aging population, an increasing number of people are likely to become physically or mentally dependent and there is a growing need for Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA). LPAs were introduced in 2007 to replace the previous system of Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA) but EPAs created before October 2007 are still valid and may require registration.
A Lasting Power of Attorney gives someone you trust the power to act on your behalf if you aren’t able to. Appointing Attorneys helps ensure your affairs are reasonably well managed and allows you to decide how much authority your Attorneys should have and whether you want to impose any restrictions on that power.
There are two types of LPA. One is designed to deal with Property & Financial Affairs and gives your Attorneys authority to deal with buying and selling your property, managing your bill payments and dealing with your bank accounts and investments. The other is for Health & Welfare, which covers health and care decisions and can only be used when a person is no longer capable of making these decisions themselves.
A Lasting Power of Attorney cannot be used until it has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. The registration process can take many weeks and there is usually a Court Fee to pay per registration. If your circumstances change or you wish to appoint new Attorneys, you may be able to revoke the LPA and make a new one.
The consequences of failing to make such a Power while you are sufficiently fit and able are often: huge delay, inconvenience, distress and expense to your nearest and dearest who have to apply to the Court of Protection to become your Deputy with the necessary powers to deal with your property and pay your bills, which can cost thousands and months of delay.
As an alternative to a Health and Welfare LPA, we can also assist you with drafting a Living Will which clarifies such things as how you would wish to be medically treated should you be totally incapacitated by accident or illness from making decisions yourself.