Life can be very unpredictable and there may come a time when you’re unable to make important decisions about your health, personal welfare or financial affairs. To provide peace of mind should a circumstance arise that requires someone else to make decisions for you, putting in place Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) can be incredibly useful.
There are two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney, both of which can be equally beneficial; LPA for Property and Financial Affairs and LPA for Health and Welfare. If you don’t know much about these documents, below we have highlighted the significance of each and explained why consulting a Lasting Power of Attorney solicitor can help you to prepare for your future.
An Introduction to Lasting Powers of Attorney
Simply put, a Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows you to appoint one or more people to make decisions on your behalf if you’re unable to do so. These people are known as ‘’attorneys’’ and it’s crucially important that you select the right people to include in your LPAs. You must create LPAs when you still have the mental capacity to understand the nature and effect of these documents. These documents are ‘lasting’ because they continue to remain valid even if you lose your mental capacity in the future.
Each type of LPA serves a distinct purpose and covers different aspects of your life.
LPA for Property and Financial Affairs
This Lasting Power of Attorney gives your attorney the authority to make decisions about your property and financial assets. This can include things such as paying bills, managing bank accounts and investments, collecting income and benefits or selling your home. This LPA is essential because it ensures that all of your financial matters continue to be handled responsibly even when you’re not able to manage them yourself.
When creating an LPA for Property and Financial Affairs, you can specify whether you want your attorney to have decision-making power as soon as the LPA is registered or only when you no longer have the mental capacity to do so yourself.
LPA for Health and Welfare
This Lasting Power of Attorney allows your appointed attorney to make decisions regarding your daily routine, any social care you receive and your medical treatment, including life-sustaining treatment. It essentially covers all health and personal welfare matters. Unlike the Property and Financial Affairs LPA, this LPA only comes into effect when you lack the mental capacity to make decisions for yourself.
A LPA for Health and Welfare ensures that your personal wishes regarding your health and well-being are being respected, even when you’re unable to communicate them yourself. It provides a clear directive for your attorney and any medical professionals treating you, preventing potential disagreements about your care.
The Importance of Each Type of LPA
Both types of LPAs play an essential role in protecting yourself in the future. When you register Lasting Powers of Attorney, you can have peace of mind that your financial matters will be handled responsibly on your behalf, regardless of your physical or mental condition. You can also trust that when it comes to your health, your personal preferences are respected and upheld when you can’t voice them yourself.
Not only can LPAs benefit your future self, but they can also alleviate stress for family members or friends. When your attorneys have the legal right to make decisions on your behalf, you can prevent the disputes that often occur between loved ones when important decisions need to be made. You can trust that the right people will always have the final say.
Speaking to a Power of Attorney Solicitor in London
Since choosing an attorney and creating LPAs requires careful consideration, it’s highly recommended that you speak to a solicitor who specialises in Lasting Powers of Attorney. They can provide valuable guidance, regardless of how complex your arrangements may be. Solicitors can help clarify any uncertainties you might have, guide you through the process of creating LPAs and ensure that your documents are fully aligned with your specific needs.
Our team of solicitors at Gillhams Solicitors can assist you with LPAs and we pride ourselves on ensuring that your wishes are properly understood and correctly recorded. We are Court of Protection experts and we can help you enforce your LPAs when required. In addition to providing expert legal advice and helping you register LPAs, our power of attorney solicitors in London can even act as an attorney if you would like them to.
Don’t hesitate to contact us today if you have any questions at all.