A Guide to Lasting Powers of Attorney: Why Act Now?

Understanding Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA)

One common misconception about Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) is that they are only necessary when you fall ill and cannot manage your affairs.

However, the best practice is to arrange them while you are fit and well. This ensures they are registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) and ready to serve your needs, should you ever become unable to make your own decisions.

LPAs have been a cornerstone of legal planning for centuries, enabling individuals to appoint someone they trust to manage their affairs if they are no longer able to do so themselves.

There are two main types of LPAs:

  1. Health and Welfare LPA: Allows your appointed attorney to make decisions about your care, living arrangements, and medical treatment.
  2. Property and Financial Affairs LPA: Enables your attorney to handle your finances, such as paying bills, managing investments, and selling property on your behalf.

Both types of LPAs remain valid even if you lose mental capacity, ensuring continuous protection of your interests.

The Risks of Delaying Your LPA

Failing to establish an LPA can lead to significant legal and financial complications if you unexpectedly become incapacitated.

Without an LPA, managing your affairs would require a relative or friend to apply for deputyship through the Court of Protection.

This process is not only costly but can take several months to complete, during which your financial health may suffer severely.

Moreover, there is no guarantee that the Court will appoint the person you would have chosen.

They might instead appoint a professional unknown to you, such as a retired solicitor or even a local authority.

This uncertainty can be distressing for both you and your loved ones.

Who Can and Should Make an LPA?

Anyone over the age of 18 with the mental capacity to do so can make an LPA in England and Wales.

When selecting your attorney, it’s crucial to choose someone you trust implicitly, whether a family member, a close friend, or a professional.

It’s also vital that this person is not facing bankruptcy, as this could disqualify them from serving as your attorney.

Guidance, Restrictions, and Registration

When setting up your LPA, you can provide non-binding guidance or enforceable restrictions on how your attorneys should act on your behalf.

These stipulations can cover everything from day-to-day decision-making to significant financial dealings.

It’s essential to register your LPA immediately after it’s executed to avoid any potential issues that could arise from outdated information.

The Office of the Public Guardian sets the registration fees, which may be reduced based on the donor’s income.

Safeguarding Your Future with The Legacy Wills Company

At The Legacy Wills Company, we understand the importance of planning for the future with certainty and security.

With over 25 years of experience in estate planning and a deep commitment to personalised service, we ensure that your wishes are honoured and your future is secure.

To learn more about how we can assist you with drafting and registering an LPA, book a discovery call and prepare for tomorrow by taking the right steps today.

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Client Testimonial

“Having seen John of Legacy Wills present at a property event, it was clear he had both the breadth of knowledge and experience and also the ability to make a very dry subject both understandable and engaging. That’s a tough call when talking about Wills, Trusts and death. John produced Wills and POA’s for myself and my wife in a timely, effective and reasonable manner. I have subsequently recommended him to numerous colleagues and friends to cut out the jargon and challenges surrounding this critical protection, which is too often deferred or neglected.”

Dan Norman