Do you have questions about signing a Lasting Power of Attorney or about asking your relative to do so? At Solomons Solicitors, our team can help answer your FAQs on Lasting Powers of Attorney.
Contact our team today to find out how we can help you.
What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a way of giving someone you trust the legal authority to make property and financial or health and welfare decisions on your behalf. A financial Lasting Power of Attorney can be used by your attorney (with your agreement) whilst you have mental capacity. A health & welfare Lasting Power of Attorney can only be used if you lose the mental capacity to make your own health decisions.
You can choose to sign one or both types of Lasting Power of Attorney.
What does a property and financial affairs Lasting Power of Attorney do?
A property and financial affairs Lasting Power of Attorney enables your chosen attorneys to manage your financial affairs. Here are some examples of how a property and financial affairs Lasting Power of Attorney can be useful:
- If you are selling a UK property and you will be overseas during the transaction – your attorneys can sign the paperwork on your behalf.
- If you lose capacity temporarily (for example, as a result of a road traffic accident) and need someone to have the legal authority to pay your household bills. Unless you have a joint account, your partner may not be able to access your money to pay for essentials.
- If you lose the capacity to make your own decisions permanently and need someone to help you manage your financial affairs so you can either continue to live at home or pay for residential care.
Some people think that a Lasting Power of Attorney is something to be considered in your later years, but it is never too early to act. It isn’t. It is vital that you have a property and financial Lasting Power of Attorney in place at any age to protect your interests and safeguard your family.
What does a health and welfare Lasting Power of Attorney do?
A health and welfare Lasting Power of Attorney gives your attorneys the power to make health decisions on your behalf if you lack the capacity to make your own health or welfare decisions. For example, decisions on end-of-life care or resuscitation. It is important to choose attorneys who know you well and who will act in the way you would have chosen if you were unable to make your own health or welfare decisions.
Do you need to register a Lasting Power of Attorney?
In order for a Lasting Power of Attorney to be valid and be used by your Attorney(s) it must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardians (OPG). When a financial LPA has been registered it can be used straight away. With a health and welfare LPA, it can only be used when it is registered and if you have lost the mental capacity to make your own health and welfare decisions.
Can you change an attorney?
Provided you have the mental capacity to make your own decisions you can choose to cancel an LPA or to change your attorney. An LPA should be reviewed when you consider estate planning and your Will just to check that your attorneys, or your nominated replacement attorneys, are still appropriate or if your relationships have changed.
With the help of a specialist LPA solicitor, signing and registering an LPA is a relatively straightforward process and will give you and your family the security of knowing that your attorneys are on standby to assist with decision-making if they are ever needed.
Speak to our Bournemouth-based Lasting Power of Attorney Solicitors today
Solomons Solicitors can help you with your Lasting Power of Attorney so that you have all the necessary paperwork in place for peace of mind.