LASTING POWERS OF ATTORNEY (LPA’s)
A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows you to plan what should happen to you if you become unable to make decisions for yourself in the future.
This could be due to old age, illness or an injury for example. It offers security at any age in life for you and your loved ones and lets you decide what should happen should you be unable to deal with your own affairs.
It also prevents the need that should any of the aforesaid occur, your loved ones will not have the task of making a Court application for what is known as “Deputyship” which is very costly and also a lengthy process. There are two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney: (i) LPA for Financial Decisions & (2) LPA for Health & Care Decisions.
By making a Lasting Power of Attorney, you can:
Nominate a person (called an Attorney) who you trust to look after your affairs and welfare in the future during your lifetime;
Specify your wishes and what powers your attorneys should have;
Decide who is told about your Lasting Power of Attorney to allow people to raise concerns now should they wish to do so;
Reduce the likelihood of conflicts in the future by ensuring that your signature and the signatures of your Attorneys are witnessed.
If you can still make decisions for yourself, you can make and register a Lasting Power of Attorney. Once you lose the ability to understand what a Lasting Power of Attorney is, it’s too late and this is when an application for Deputyship will need to be made.
Planning at this stage can be a simple cost effective way of ensuring peace of mind. We recommend to all individuals to make these.
Other Powers of Attorney
Other types of Powers of Attorney exist and can be used when you are of sound mind, i.e. you possess full mental capacity. Once you no longer have full mental capacity these types of Powers of Attorney come to an end:
Limited Power of Attorney
A limited power of attorney gives someone else the power to act on your behalf for a very limited purpose. For example, a limited power of attorney could give someone the right to sign a particular legal document should the need arise. Example: you may grant someone a limited power of attorney to sell a house or land.
General Power of Attorney
A general power of attorney is comprehensive and gives your Attorney all the powers and rights that you have yourself. For example, a general power of attorney may give your Attorney the right to sign documents for you, pay your bills, and conduct financial transactions on your behalf. You could use a general power of attorney if you were not incapacitated, but still needed someone to help you with financial matters. A general power of attorney ends on your death or incapacitation unless it is withdrawn before then.