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The Importance of Lasting Powers of Attorney

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document which formally appoints people to make decisions on your behalf in case you are unable to do so yourself, due to physical or mental incapacity.

These decisions can be in relation to your financial matters, your business and also your health and welfare.

There is a common myth that family members will automatically be able to make decisions on your behalf if you lost capacity without an LPA being completed. However, this isn’t the case. No one would be able to handle your finances without a LPA if you do lose capacity, without first applying to the Court of Protection.

Your family members, friends or business partner would have to apply to the Court for an Order to be appointed as your Deputy, however this is a much longer and more expensive route which can cause a lot of additional stress in an already stressful situation.

This Court of Protection route can be avoided by ensuring that you make Lasting Powers of Attorney.

One advisable step is to have a financial LPA which will allow you to appoint up to four people to handle your finances if you become incapable of handling them yourself. This allows you to remain in control over who you wish to handle your financial affairs and therefore you are ultimately safeguarding your assets for the future.

If you do have a business, you can also complete an additional financial LPA which handles the administration of your business assets. You can appoint trusted people to make decisions about your business, such as authorising payroll, paying money into and taking money out of banks, payment of invoices etc. These are simple yet critical tasks which need to be completed to allow your business to continue to run successfully.

There are strict rules in place governing how an attorney can act under an LPA, including a duty to always act in your best interests. It’s important to pick someone who you know well and can trust to handle your affairs. You could decide to appoint a professional attorney to act either solely or alongside your family members or a business associate in order to handle your affairs as smoothly as possible.

Another aspect to consider is also completing an LPA to allow your attorney to make decisions about your health and welfare, including decisions about life sustaining treatment. This gives you the option to appoint those you trust to make decisions about your daily life and care if you are mentally incapable of speaking to doctors or social workers.

Once the LPAs have been completed, they will be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian immediately to ensure they are ready to be used if the situation arises in the future.

To facilitate you making a Lasting Power of Attorney during the coronavirus pandemic, we now offer an online service so you can do this from the comfort of your home. Please click here to access this service.

 

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Annie Beaumont

Solicitor
ABeaumont@LawBlacks.com
0113 227 9269
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Annie Beaumont Blacks Solicitors LLP