Written by Jo Tinson, Partner at Spire Solicitors LLP.
Whilst considering the importance of making a Will, you may also want to think about making a Lasting Powers of Attorney. There may come a point in the future when you are unable to manage your own affairs. This may occur at any stage in life and may be brought on by physical illness, mental illness or simply old age. To avoid uncertainty and ensure that your affairs are in order you should consider making a Lasting Power of Attorney.
There are two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA):
- A Property & Financial LPA allows you to appoint one or more people (your attorneys) to manage your finances and property. This will allow your attorneys to deal with day to day correspondence, obtain money for your use, collect your benefits, pay your bills and sell or rent your house. You can appoint your attorneys to look after matters whilst you still have capacity.
- A Health & Welfare LPA allows your attorneys to make decisions regarding your personal health and welfare. This could include making decisions about your day to day care, medical treatment and whether you should go into residential care. It also gives attorneys the right to accept or decline life sustaining treatment.
Choosing your attorneys
The people you choose to act for you are called your attorneys. You should choose people who you completely trust, as ultimately they will be making decisions on your behalf. You can appoint one person to act on your behalf or name more than one person and specify different areas that each can make decisions about. You can also specify that decisions should be made jointly by both attorneys if that is your preference.
What happens if I choose not to have one?
If you do not have a Lasting Powers of Attorney and you lose mental capacity, many problems can arise. If this situation occurs it may be necessary for an application to be made to the Court of Protection for an appropriate order to be made to enable someone to act on your behalf and administer your affairs.
If you would like to discuss any points in this article further, please contact Spire Solicitors LLP on 01603 677077 for all your legal needs.