A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a document that allows you to choose an attorney to act on your behalf in the event of mental incapacity. There are two types of LPA. A Health and Care Lasting Power of Attorney enables a person of your choice (your attorney) to make decisions that affect your health, such as medical care, where you live and your daily routine. A Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney enables your attorney to make decisions regarding your finances, such as bills, tax, pensions, property, and investments.
If you do not have a LPA, someone who cares for you will have to apply to the Court of Protection for a court order in order to manage your affairs should you lose your mental capacity or be unable to deal with your own affairs. With a LPA, you can simplify the process and avoid any problems for your loved ones.
A Will is a document that you create which allows you to somewhat control what happens to your property after you pass. When there is no Will in place, you would pass away ‘intestate’. This means that your estate would be distributed in line with the ‘rules of intestacy’.The rules of intestacy are a set of laws that decide what happens to someone’s estate if they die without a will. Therefore, you would essentially have no control over what happens to your belongings once you pass.
When making a Will, you must assign executors. These are individuals you choose to distribute your estate in line with your Will, once you have passed away.
There is no automatic legal right for your family or friends to make medical or care decisions on your behalf. This is why it is important to sign a Health & Care LPA, as you can appoint someone that you trust to make these decisions if you become mentally incapable. This takes power away from doctors and social workers, and allows you to maintain an element of control by choosing who you want to manage your welfare.
If you have a Health & Care LPA, it means that there is less chance for conflict amongst your loved ones over who will have control over your health. It means that nobody else can dispute the actions of the chosen candidate, as you have the final say over who takes control.
In certain circumstances, if you do not have a Health & Care LPA, an application to the Court of Protection may be required to appoint a Deputy to make decisions on your behalf. This can cost a lot of money and can be time consuming.
Similarly to a Health and Care LPA, a Property and Financial Affairs LPA allows you to still hold a level of control. With this LPA, you are able to choose someone that you trust to be in charge of your money and property management if you are deemed to be mentally incapable or alternatively if you simply cannot manage your own affairs due to old age or fragility. Without this, you may have no control over who you wish to deal with these issues.
Money and finances can be stressful for anyone to deal with. If you have an LPA for financial affairs, it allows you to assign another person to deal with your finances, if you are struggling to do so. Your attorneys are able to deal with the following things: buying, selling or maintaining properties, bank account management, accessing financial information, investing your assets, and dealing with your savings, benefits, and tax affairs.
When you appoint an attorney for Property and Financial Affairs, they must consult with a professional advisor before they can make decisions on investment. This is to stop your chosen candidate from being reckless with your money.
Black Norman Solicitors have been helping clients with estate planning including Wills and LPA’s for over 30 years in Merseyside and the North West area. We are able to help you with all of your LPA and Will needs.
To get started, contact us on 03300 167 847 or fill out a contact form and a member of our team will be in touch.
Alternatively, please visit our website for more information.