What is a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), and why might I want one? 

A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document in which you (the ‘donor’) appoint people of your choice to act on your behalf. In the absence of an LPA, if you lose mental capacity, your loved ones are not given the automatic right to take control of your affairs. Being married, or even owning assets in joint names makes no difference.

The Court of Protection looks after vulnerable adults. In the absence of an LPA, your loved ones would have to apply to become your legal representative(s), called an attorney(s). Where this isn’t possible, the courts would appoint a deputy. This would typically be a civil servant or solicitor. The process of applying through the courts can be expensive and time consuming.

There are two types of LPA

The Property and Financial Affairs LPA can be drafted to be used should you become unable to manage your affairs, lose mental capacity, or both. Essentially, your attorney could have access to your savings, have the power to sell your house, or manage your day to day income and expenditure. You do also have the option to give your attorney(s) the power to refuse life sustaining treatment, make decisions about day to day care issues, and arrange care at home or in a care home environment. You may also give them the right to access to your medical records.

However, for business owners, we also recommend a separate one to protect your business interests. This is a Business Lasting Power of Attorney. These are also vital, so that your loved ones aren’t left with the burden of assuming responsibility for your business affairs.

What should I be thinking about?

LPAs are governed by the Mental Capacity Act (2005). Broadly speaking, the people that you appoint as your legal representative(s) (attorneys) must follow the principles of the Mental Capacity Act and act in your best interests. Your choice of attorney(s) is critical, and you must be confident that they are capable and would take their responsibilities seriously.

How do I take the first step? 

The process of preparing an LPA takes place over two meetings:

First meeting

We talk you through your options: including who you may appoint, why and what they will be responsible for.

Second meeting

This is where we present the agreement to you (the donor) and your attorneys. This meeting also includes a simple test to demonstrate that the donor has a clear understanding of the LPA and the powers given to their attorney(s).

You can’t foresee an accident or the loss of mental capacity. But you can be prepared for all eventualities by protecting your business, assets and the people you love from having costly responsibilities. 

Let us help to make a complicated process less of a burden for you. 

Pop your details in the form below, and our A4G Legacy team will be in touch.

Want to find out more?

Call us on (01474) 853856 and we will put you in contact with one of our advisers, or send us an enquiry by clicking below.

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