Lasting Powers of Attorney

Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) are legal documents that allow you to authorise one or more trusted people ‘the Attorney(s)’ with the power to deal with your affairs should you become incapable of doing so yourself. Whereas a Will states what is to happen after you die, an LPA gives you protection during your lifetime. We would strongly advise that everyone over the age of 18 has one.

This is because under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 no-one (including a spouse or partner) can look after another’s affairs if they lose capacity. As you will probably know from personal experience, if your name isn’t on the bill or the bank account, no one will speak to you about it. All too often families have no strategy in place to deal with the financial affairs of someone who is no longer able to do so, whether this be as a result of a serious accident, ill health or simply old age.

Contact us today to arrange a no-obligation consultation to set up your LPAs.

Property and Financial Lasting Powers of Attorney

Property and Financial LPAs are needed if you lose the physical capability to write your name or deal with your own financial or property affairs. This type of LPA is not just for a loss in mental capacity. What is often overlooked is sometimes an individual’s mind may be absolutely fine, but they still can’t handle their own affairs.

For example:

  • If you are house-bound, it may not be possible to go to the bank
  • If you are hard of hearing, it may not be possible to speak with companies on the phone
  • If you have severe arthritis it may prevent you from being able to sign your name

What could happen if you didn’t have a Property and Financial LPA?

If you don’t have an LPA in place to deal with your property and finances it causes extra complications if you are unable to deal with your own affairs:

For example:

  • If one of you loses capacity, the other cannot sell the joint property to release capital
  • A conflict of interest issue can arise if you are not authorised to act on behalf of your partner
  • Joint bank accounts can be frozen in the event of the mental incapacity of your partner
  • The court of protection can take over in some instances which causes added complications

Health and Welfare Lasting Powers of Attorney

A Health and Welfare Power of Attorney is only needed if you lose mental capacity and are unable to make decisions yourself.

What could happen if you didn’t have a Health and Welfare LPA?

If you don’t have an LPA in place to deal with your Health and Welfare, the Local Authority will be able to make decisions on your behalf. Your family and friends would have no power to stop them. Scenarios could include:

  • Being resuscitated against your wishes
  • Being forced into care
  • Family losing control over health related-matters
  • Social services making decisions about where you live and the care you require

How do LPAs overcome these difficulties?

If you set up an LPA for your Health and Welfare, your Attorney(s) will be able to make the best decisions on your behalf and ensure that your wishes are taken into account.
If you set up a Property and Finances LPA your Attorney(s) will be able to make the best decisions on your behalf and ensure that your wishes are taken into account.

It allows your Attorney (or Attorneys) to:

  • Pay your bills,
  • Go to the bank on your behalf
  • Talk to companies over the phone
  • Sell a property on your behalf

If you own a business, you can set up a separate LPA with different attorneys to handle your business matters.
It allows your Attorney(s) to:

  • Pay your suppliers and staff
  • Go to the bank on your behalf
  • Talk to companies over the phone
  • Sell or lease business premises on your behalf

“I would like to say how happy I am with the service you provided for me and my wife Tania in helping us sort out both our wills, in just two very short meetings you made it very easy for us to understand all the pitfalls and implications of leaving things untouched with our current will set up. Thank you for explaining things in plain English.”

Leon Coppola - Director at First Image Ltd