Lasting Powers of Attorney
If you think you, or a loved one may lack the mental capacity to make important decisions in future, a Lasting Power of Attorney (or LPA) makes it easier for a named person to make decisions on their behalf. With conditions such as dementia and Alzheimer’s Disease becoming more common, it is important to plan ahead.
Our specialist team advises clients in different languages on a wide range of legal matters. Call them on 0208 1111 911 or contact them through the website to discuss your circumstances with them.
What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
An LPA is a legal document which makes it easier for named individuals (such as close relatives or a loved one) to make decisions for you on your behalf, if you lack the mental capacity to make the right decisions for yourself.
There are two types of LPA:
- Financial & Affairs – which allows people to make decisions on your finances or even your business on your behalf.
- Health & Welfare – which allows people to make decisions about medical care you receive or any care homes you move into.
You can also take out both types of LPA if you want your appointed attorneys to make all your significant decisions when required.
Who can take out a Lasting Power of Attorney?
To take out an LPA, you must be able to prove that you have the mental capacity to understand the process. If you are in good health, with no signs of dementia and no reason to question your mental capacity, getting an LPA is straightforward.
A diagnosis of dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease can complicate the process. It doesn’t necessarily prevent you from taking one out but can make the process more complicated. The legal requirement for an LPA is simply that you still have the mental capacity, rather than making reference to any specific conditions.
Our advice is to act quickly if you think that dementia, or any condition that might affect mental capacity is likely to be an issue. Dementia is a progressive condition, so it will only get more difficult to prove mental capacity as it progresses.
An LPA is not only useful in later life. You could also lose mental capacity as a result of a Personal Injury such as a Road Traffic Accident at any stage in your life. If you have dependents and are considering making a will, it is worth considering taking out an LPA at the same time, as you never know what the future may hold.
What else do I need to consider for Lasting Powers of Attorney?
You should also consider how you want your attorneys to operate when it comes to making decisions for you. For example, you may want to simply appoint one attorney (such as one of your children) or you may have multiple children and want them to make decisions jointly.
If appointing joint attorneys, you should also consider what happens if any of them should die or lose their own mental capacity, or if they disagree on a decision. We can advise on this and help you cover all eventualities.
What other advice might I need?
An LPA can work well alongside a will to ensure that all of your wishes for later life and after your death are planned as thoroughly as possible. If you don’t yet have a will, our Will Writing specialists can help you with this and also Trusts which can help you distribute your assets tax-efficiently through your will.
How do I get legal advice on Lasting Powers of Attorney?
Call us on 0208 1111 911 or contact us through the website and we’ll arrange a time to discuss your circumstances thoroughly with you. The initial call is free and we’ll advise you of our fees before you decide whether or not to instruct us.