Why is Lasting Power of Attorney important?

While leaving a will assures that our affairs are handled when we pass away, not everyone anticipates what will occur if they are unable to manage their affairs during their lifetime. We are living much longer as a generation, and it is plausible that you will someday be unable to maintain your financial affairs and welfare. 

In this post, we’ll look at why you should make a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) and how our knowledgeable team can help.

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

If your mental state, a brain injury, or physical injury renders you unable to handle your own affairs and financial well-being, you can choose someone to act as your legal representative through an LPA. If you are unable to communicate your wishes, you will be represented by this attorney.

There are two types of LPA:

  • property and financial affairs, which can be made for both personal and business reasons
  • health and welfare

A separate LPA for property and financial affairs can be created by a business owner to appoint an attorney to make business decisions if they lose mental capacity. For their personal property and financial concerns, they can still create an LPA.

Who can be a Power of Attorney?

You can appoint one or more attorneys to operate on your behalf:

“Jointly” — they must always make decisions as a group.

“Jointly and severally” — they must make certain decisions as a group and others on their own.

You can, for example, select attorneys to act jointly while making financial decisions, but only one attorney can decide where you should live.

You have the right to require your attorneys to work together on all of your matters.

Lasting Power of Attorney for property and financial affairs

LPAs for property and financial affairs allow you to designate someone to help you make decisions about your finances, taxes, and asset purchases and sales. These attorneys can assist you at your discretion while you have the capacity and continue if capacity is lost.

As a property and financial affairs attorney, you make (or assist the donor in making) decisions about:

  • Money, bills and taxes
  • Property and investments
  • Bank accounts
  • Pensions and benefits

You can spend the donor’s money to care for their home and purchase everything they require on a daily basis.

Lasting Power of Attorney for health and welfare

This applies to health and care decisions and can only be employed once mental ability has been lost. In general, an attorney can make decisions about issues like:

  • Medical treatment
  • Where you should live
  • Who you should have contact with
  • You can also give your attorney special power to make life-saving medical decisions on your behalf.

If you’re married or in a civil partnership, you may have expected that if you become incapacitated, your spouse would automatically be able to manage your bank account and pensions, as well as make healthcare decisions for you. This isn’t the case at all. They won’t be able to do anything without an LPA.

Why an LPA is important

Aside from having control over who manages your affairs in the event you become incapacitated, LPAs provide a slew of other advantages.

  • Accidents can strike at any age, and LPAs ensure that your affairs are taken care of in the event of an accident.
  • Because LPAs do not require a court appearance, they relieve your relatives of the burden.
  • These are legally binding and enforceable, and financial and medical organisations recognise them.
  • Attorneys do not have complete autonomy under LPAs; they must still follow the Mental Capacity Act 2005, and any issues will be reviewed.
  • If you operate a business, LPAs can help ensure that your activities are not disrupted because someone can immediately step in and take over the position.

We’re here to help

You should not put off thinking about your future interests. Through our private client services, Black Norman can provide peace of mind to you, your business partners, and your loved ones. To learn more about Lasting Power of Attorney or to schedule a consultation with one of our specialists, please contact us on 0330 016 7847 or fill in our contact form, and we’ll be in touch as soon as possible.