Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA’s) are legal documents which enable a person to appoint one or more individuals (‘Attorney’) to make decisions on their behalf. To grant an LPA, a person must be over 18 and have mental capacity. The defining point of a Lasting Powers of Attorney is that it can continue to be used even if you lose mental capacity.
There are two types of LPA: Health and Welfare LPA’s and Property and Financial Affairs LPA’s. Health and Welfare LPA’s allow your chosen Attorneys to make decisions on matters such as where you will live, your day-to-day care and medical treatment. Property and financial affairs LPA’s allow your Attorneys to make decisions on matters including selling your house and managing your bank accounts. Property and financial LPAs are of particular importance to those running their own business. If you were to lose mental capacity, perhaps following an accident or medical emergency, how would your business keep running? Who would run the business? If you prepare an LPA in advance whilst you are in full health, you will have peace of mind knowing that your trusted Attorneys would be able to take the necessary steps straightaway. Please note that this applies to sole-traders and partners, the position for company directors is different, please ask us if you require more information on this point.
The alternative to having a registered LPA in place is for the relatives of the person to make a court application for a Deputyship Order, once mental capacity has been lost. This is a lengthy process to undertake at such a stressful time and is much more expensive than drawing up an LPA. A Deputyship application takes a minimum of 4-6 months whereas an LPA can be registered in approximately 6 weeks.
LPA forms are accessible online via the Government website, however it is best to have an LPA drawn up by a solicitor to ensure that it complies with all legal requirements and formalities, and meets your personal requirements.
Our Private Client department can assist with all LPA and Deputyship queries. Please contact email@example.com for further information.