Lasting Power of Attorney
A Lasting Power of Attorney or LPA is a legal document that gives someone that you trust the right to look after your important affairs should you become unable or too ill to do it.
An LPA is normally used when there has been an accident or illness when someone has lost the capacity to take care of their day to day affairs.These are powerful legal documents that are recognised by banks, doctors, government bodies, local authorities and so on. Enacting a Lasting Power of Attorney can be a difficult decision to make but Keynote Legal will hold your hand every step of the way and ensure that your documents are fit for purpose and tailored to you and your needs.
Lasting Power of Attorney
If you want someone to help if you become so ill or injured that you cannot make your own financial or health & personal decisions, then you need an LPA.
You will probably have someone in mind to help, a family member, friend or adviser. But if you do not have a signed, registered LPA in place then they cannot legally help. Even your spouse and children are legally prevented from making decisions for you, no one will be able to access your finances. Your accounts, even joint accounts are frozen. Income from pensions etc will stop being paid in. Your health and welfare decisions on your treatment, place of care and even care home will be decided in the end by people you don’t know.
What does an LPA actually do?
There are two types of LPA,
LPA Health and Welfare : This enables your representative to make decisions for you about how you are cared for; medical decisions, food, care homes etc. This is used where you cannot make the decisions for yourself.
LPA Property and Financal Affairs: This allows someone to look after your money, pay your bills, collect your benefits or even sell your home if it is necessary. You can appoint someone who can help you at any time and you don’t have to wait until you lose capacity.
Can I choose who will make the decisions for me?
Yes, you will choose who you would like to be your Attorney. We recommend you choose someone who you trust and who knows you and your preferences very well. You may have more than one attorney. Some people will choose their adult children, others prefer good friends who know them well to make decisions on their behalf.
If you’d like to talk to us about Lasting Power of Attorneys and how our Keynote Legal can help you make the best decisions for your family and beneficiaries, please contact us for more information.
What is Involved?
An LPA is a legal document. Everyone should have two, one that gives directions about your finances and one that deals with your health and welfare. This large amount of paperwork can be daunting and confusing. Mistakes are easily made. Sometimes the appointment of people can result in abuse. Care should be taken when making any decisions in the LPA. It is important to consider the consequences of what you decide. A DIY LPA may look like a good cost saving idea but in the long run, without proper help it can become a much more costly and stressful process for you and your loved ones.
Please note that it is very unusual for the court of protection to grant a Health and Welfare deputyship, so if you don’t have an LPA for Health and Welfare, you may have to resign yourself to the fact that people you don’t know will take control of your health and welfare decisions.
What if I don’t have an LPA?
When you do not have an LPA, the authorities, social services, doctors, the council and the courts will take control of your financial and personal health decisions. In other words, people you have never even met will make decisions for you.
As you can imagine, this will cause enormous hardship to your friends and family who wish to help and care for you. It can mean that a spouse is restricted from access to their own savings and income.
In this situation, you will need a court to appoint a deputy to act on your behalf. This is a slow, costly and very stressful process. Even when the courts decide who will care for you, there are ongoing costs and stresses. The courts often restrict your deputy and how they act and this can impact on your care and on them. If they need a change to their role, they will need to go back to court.
To avoid these legal costs, fees and stress on your family or friends, you need to get an LPA registered now.