"A man can do all things if he but wills them."
Leon Battista Alberti
Legal specialist in providing Later Life estate planning solutions and advising vulnerable clients.
Why do I need a Lasting Power of Attorney?
Gavin says: ‘Simply put, if you wish to remain in control of your life and determine what life sustaining treatment options are afforded to you, when you are not able, then you need a Lasting Power of Attorney’.
1. What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
A Power of Attorney is a written authority where you give another person power to act on your behalf. A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a power of attorney that lasts for your whole life or unless it is cancelled. There are two types of LPAs, one to manage your financial and property affairs and another, to manage your health and welfare affairs.
2. What happens if I no longer am able to manage my affairs?
If you no longer have the required legal mental capacity to manage your affairs you would be able to deal with your assets and make important decisions concerning your affairs. You will not be able to then set up an LPA. The Court of Protection will have to approached to approve the appointment of a deputy to manage your affairs on your behalf. This appointment will need to be renewed annually and is more expensive than setting up an LPA.
3. ‘I don’t think I need a Power of Attorney.’
We all wish to retain our independence and want to remain in control of our lives for as long as possible. The future can be uncertain and the best way to prepare for our future is to plan ahead. Putting LPAs in place will allow you to plan for the future to ensure you are in control of your affairs when you are not able to directly manage them yourself.
4. What happens if I choose not to take out Lasting Powers of Attorney but then need help?
The state will decide who will be appointed to manage your affairs for you. As mentioned earlier, the Court of Protection will have to be approached to appoint a deputy to manage your affairs for you.
5. How can a Lasting Power of Attorney help me?
The Mental Capacity Act 2005 allows appointed attorneys to do the following:
Property & Financial Affairs -
a. Claiming welfare benefits
b. Opening, closing and operating your financial accounts
c. Arranging and managing your investments
d. Selling and buying property for you
e. Paying bills
f. Sorting out your tax affairs
Health & Welfare Affairs –
a. Deciding where you should live
b. Deciding who may be in contact with you
c. Make decisions about who can have access to your health and social care information
d. Consenting to or refusing medical treatment on your behalf