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Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) replaced the old system of Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPAs).
At Bower, we believe that every adult should have an LPA in place as they allow the people you trust most to make decisions for you – and about you – if the need arises.
As we get older it is an unfortunate reality that accidents or illness such as Dementia or Parkinson’s could strike at any time. So it’s a good idea to arrange your LPAs before anything like that happens.
Then, if the time does come when you can no longer handle your own affairs, your LPA will ensure your spouse/partner, children or even a close friend can deal with the important matters for you.
So let’s take a closer look at the two different types of LPA available:
A Property & Financial Affairs LPA allows those chosen by you (your ‘attorneys’) to look after all your finances at any time. You might not want to deal with money matters yourself any longer, or need a safeguard should you become unable to handle your day-to-day finances (or make important financial decisions) for yourself.
These decisions can include:
Paying your bills
Collecting your income and benefits
Selling your home
Remember, if you and your partner have a joint bank account and one of you loses mental capacity, then the other one does not automatically have the right to access the account. You/they will need a valid Property and Financial Affairs LPA in place naming you/them as an attorney.
A Health and Welfare LPA lets those chosen by you to make the important decisions about your health and the care and treatment you receive, but only if you lose the mentally capacity to make these decisions yourself. It’s usually recommended that you appoint at least two attorneys for your Health and Welfare LPA.
The person/s you choose could make important decisions such as:
Where you live or are treated
Day-to-day care including your diet
Whether to accept or refuse life-sustaining treatment
It’s a common misconception that your spouse or partner will be automatically be able to make these decisions for you should you be unable to.
But appointing them now as an attorney in your LPA will ensure they can.
If you put off arranging your LPA until you actually need one, then the implications can be incredibly stressful.
Without an LPA in place, your loved ones would need to apply to the Court of Protection to become your Deputy (this can give them similar powers to that of an attorney).
This is, however, much more time-consuming, confusing and costly. There are also ongoing requirements that a Deputy must fulfil, such as paying an annual fee and submitting an annual report.
It really can be much easier for someone to be an attorney rather than a Deputy – so arrange your LPAs now.
You can appoint anyone you want to be your attorney, as long as they are over 18 (and for a Property & Financial Affairs LPA they cannot have been declared bankrupt).
That said, it is important to think carefully about whom you choose. Most people select one or two trusted relatives or close friends, but you could also ask a professional such as an accountant or solicitor (but remember they may charge for their time).
Arranging your Lasting Powers of Attorney now, while you are able to, could make a huge difference to the smooth running of your financial affairs in the future.
We work closely with our legal partners who prepare these essential legal documents as part of our service to you. You will be assigned a dedicated legal adviser who will take care of everything for you and work to ensure your documents are expertly produced in accordance with your needs and wishes.
Then if the time does come when you can no longer handle your own affairs, your LPA will ensure your spouse/partner, children or even a close friend can handle important matters for you.
Get in touch with us today and we’ll talk about how we can begin creating your LPAs.