You probably wouldn’t want to die without a Will in place, especially if you own property, have substantial cash savings, or have a partner or dependants. But what if something happens to you that does not kill you, but leaves you incapable of communicating your wishes to those closest to you?

It’s an uncomfortable thought but an LPA is probably the single best way to make sure that your interests are protected from the moment you are incapacitated until your death, after which your Will can distribute your estate in the usual way.

There are two types of LPA's (Lasting Power of Attorney) most clients choose to do both but others choose to do one or the other, depending on their personal circumstances.

Health & Welfare

Like all LPA's, you (The Donor) will have to appoint someone else (The Attorney) to make decisions on your behalf relating to your health and your welfare should you be unable too. It is important to remember the differences between both LPA's. Unlike the Property & Financial Affairs LPA, the Health & Welfare LPA is only exercised if you lose capacity and are unable to make the decision yourself. Whilst you are still compos mentis or in other words still able to make decisions for yourself, nobody else can make them for you. 

Examples of decisions your attorney(s) may have to deal with are:

  • Consent or refuse life sustaining treatment

  • Your health deteriorates progressively and you wish your attorney to make decisions regarding ongoing healthcare

  • If you feel your loved ones may argue about what is best for you

  • Deciding whether you live at home or at a residential home, and if the latter, which one

You can appoint up to four attorneys. It is important to appoint those that have your best interests at heart.

Property & Financial Affairs

A Property & Financial Affairs LPA works in the same way at a Health & Welfare LPA but it gives your attorney(s) the power to deal with all of your property affairs such as buying or selling property, paying your bills and dealing with your bank accounts. Again, you would still be able to make decisions relating to your financial decisions yourself unless you lost mental capacity to do so. 

A Property & Financial affairs LPA will come into effect as soon as it is registered meaning your attorneys will be able to make financial decisions on your behalf straight away even if you have not lost mental capacity. If you do not want this, then you should make sure that the LPA says this.

Examples of decisions your attorney(s) may have to deal with are:

  • Buying or Selling Property on your behalf

  • Deal with your Bank, Building Society and other financial accounts

  • Speak on behalf to HMRC for things such as Welfare, Benefits or Tax Credits

  • Organise and sort out your tax affairs

  • Liase with companies dealing with any debt you may have

You can appoint up to four attorneys. It is important to appoint those that have your best interests at heart.

As well as legal fees that you will pay for drawing up your LPA, you will also have to pay a court fee (Call for more information).

It is extremely important to use a regulated professional to draw up your LPA. There are many companies on the Internet claiming to provide the same service for half the price. Be careful, you may not realise there is a problem with your LPA until it is too late.

Deputyship Order

You cannot make an LPA for a loved one who has already lost mental capacity. In this case you will have to apply to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship Order.

Please call the office to speak to a solicitor regarding this.

For a free no obligation quote call us now on 0191 490 1000 or use the contact form below and one of our solicitors will be in touch

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