Written by Tony Wright, Associate Solicitor at Spire Solicitors LLP
Whilst it is important to make a Will, it is also worth considering preparing Lasting Powers of Attorney (“LPA’s”). Whereas a Will deals with the distribution of a person’s assets on their death, LPA’s are effective during a persons lifetime. LPA’s allow a person (known as the “Donor”) to appoint family members and/or friends (known as the “Attorneys”) to manage the Donor’s finances or make decisions regarding the Donor’s health and welfare.
There are two types of LPA:
- A Property & Financial LPA, which relates solely to a Donor’s finances and property. This allows the Attorneys to access the Donor’s bank accounts, collect pensions, make changes to investments, enter into contracts on the Donor’s behalf, and even sell the Donor’s home.
- A Health & Welfare LPA allows the Attorneys to make decisions relating to the Donor’s personal care, but only if the Donor cannot make those decisions for themselves. The types of decisions that can be made include end of life decisions, consent/refusal of medical treatment, where a Donor should live, and who a Donor should have contact with.
What happens if I do not have a LPA?
If you do not have LPA’s and you lose mental capacity, many problems can arise. If this situation arises it may become necessary for a family member, or other suitable person, to apply to the Court of Protection for an appropriate order allowing that person to administer your affairs.
Why choose a Solicitor to prepare my LPA’s?
By preparing LPA’s you are allowing your Attorneys to “step into your shoes” to make decisions on your behalf, which can lead to unintended consequences. Here at Spire Solicitors LLP, our experienced professionals can provide advice to mitigate against the problems that can be encountered, such as:
- The most important decision a Donor can make is their choice of Attorneys. Without careful thought, an ill-considered choice of Attorneys can lead to the LPA becoming unworkable.
- Unfortunately, stories still make the local and national press about Attorney’s abusing their position. We can advise on the inclusion of provisions in your Property & Financial Affairs LPA to provide safeguards to help protect you and your finances.
- Due to the type of decisions that an Attorney can make under a Health & Welfare LPA, we can tailor your LPA to your specific requirements. This will give guidance to your Attorneys to assist them in making the correct decisions when called upon to do so.
If you would like to discuss any points in this article further, please contact our Dereham office on 01362 692424 to speak with one of our Private Client team.