We all hope that throughout our lives we’ll be able to manage our affairs and make our own decisions. But sometimes, whether it’s because of a medical condition or otherwise, we may need help in old age.
Many people assume that a spouse or child can simply step in when the time arises, but that is not the case unless you have given them Power of Attorney. This is the legal document that allows them to make decisions about your property and affairs.
If you lack capacity to make a LPA, it may be necessary for an application to be made to the Court of Protection for an appropriate order appointing someone to make decisions on your behalf. Unfortunately, this is costly and can be time consuming. Making a LPA is almost always preferable.
A Lasting Power of Attorney is an important document and you should take care when choosing who to appoint as your attorney. They should be trustworthy and have the appropriate skills to make the right decisions for you.
If you appoint more than one attorney, you can appoint them so that they must always act together (jointly) or so they may act separately if need be (jointly and severally). You may wish to appoint a replacement attorney in case your original attorney dies or otherwise cannot act for you.
There are two types of LPA:
A Property and Financial Affairs LPA permits your attorney to deal with your property and finances.
A Health and Welfare LPA permits your attorney to make decisions about medical care and your general welfare, but only when you lack mental capacity.
Making a Lasting Power of Attorney is straightforward, however it may cost slightly more than making a Will. That said, if you compare the potential costs of a Court application, they are good value for money. Contact Astle Paterson Solicitors on 01283 531366 for further information.
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