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What is a Lasting Power of Attorney and Who Needs One

We asked Sally Power, from Hunt & Coombs Solicitors, about organising a Lasting Power of Attorney

Reassurance that your wishes are carried out whatever happens to you

Sally Power

Sally Power

At some point in our lives, any of us can be temporarily or permanently unable to manage our finances or care. What can you do to ensure that you are looked after by people you trust?

Sally Power is a Private Client Associate in the Oundle office of Hunt & Coombs Solicitors.  In this article Sally discusses the importance of Lasting Powers of Attorney and how having them in place can ensure that you are looked after by people you have chosen, should you ever lose the ability to make decisions for yourself.

What are Lasting Powers of Attorney?

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a document that, depending on which one you have, allows you to appoint up to four people, who are called attorneys, to make decisions on your behalf if you are not able to do so yourself.

Why should you have an LPA?

The current COVID pandemic has shone a light on the importance of Lasting Powers of Attorney during a time when visiting and/or being with loved ones has been anything but straightforward and in many cases just not possible.  Having Lasting Powers of Attorney in place gives the reassurance that a person’s attorneys can look after them and take care of their financial, health and welfare needs even if they cannot physically be with them, ensuring bills are paid, they have food and also being able to be involved in medical and health care decisions.

How do LPAs work?

There are two different types of Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), the Lasting Power of Attorney for Property & Affairs and the Lasting Power of Attorney for Health & Welfare.  Both are extremely useful if properly drafted.

Property and Financial Affairs LPA

This type of LPA allows you to nominate someone to make decisions on your behalf about your money and your property. For example, they could deal with your bank account, pay bills and even buy and sell property on your behalf.  Your attorney can also act for you while you still have the capacity to make your own decisions if it has been registered and you give your consent.  This can be useful if for example you are out of the country for long periods of time, have physical difficulty when managing your affairs or would just like some help with your financial paperwork.

Health & Welfare LPA

This type of LPA allows your attorneys to make decisions regarding your health and welfare, for example what medical treatment you should receive and where you should live, if you no longer have the mental capacity to make such decisions for yourself.  In addition you indicate in the form whether your attorney should be able to give or refuse consent to life sustaining medical treatment on your behalf.   I believe that this LPA is just as important as the Property and Financial Affairs LPA and allows you to have people in place that you trust to step in and act in your best interests should the circumstances arise.

With both LPAs It is important to note that an LPA can only be used, even in an emergency, when it has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.

How can we help?

As with Wills, we can take your instructions for Lasting Powers of Attorney remotely, either by telephone or a video call if meeting in person is not possible.  We will advise you and guide you through the entire process ensuring the LPAs do what you need them to and are registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.

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For more information and advice about Wills and Lasting Power of Attorney please get in touch with Sally either by email: sally.power@hcsolicitors.co.uk, or by telephone on 01832 273506.

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