Lasting Power of Attorney

It’s impossible to predict the future but you can plan for it with a Lasting Power of Attorney document that makes life much easier if things don’t go the way you expect them to.

By allowing a person you trust to make your decisions on your financial and health and care issues, if you lack the mental capacity to do so, you know you and/or your finances will be taken care of by someone with your best interests at heart.

Don’t delay in making this document. Contact our team to discuss your circumstances and take care of the future today.

What is a Power of Attorney?

A Lasting Power of Attorney is a document that provides authority for someone to make decisions for you, or act on your behalf, should you be unable to make those decisions yourself. This could be a temporary measure, if, for example, you’re in hospital and need bills paid for in your absence, or if you go travelling for an extended period of time, or it could be used to provide security for the future if you have been diagnosed with a long-term illness, such as dementia, where you may lose your mental capacity in future years. There are different types of Power of Attorney which we explain below.

 

Rebecca from Wills and Probate was the ultimate professional: polite, considerate and efficient when dealing with sensitive family issues.

Josie

 

Different types of Power of Attorney

There are three main types of Power of Attorney which may apply to you, based on your circumstances and reasons for creating a Power of Attorney document:

  • Ordinary or General Power of Attorney – This allows a designated person to make decisions about your finances while you still have mental capacity. It is suitable if you need help temporarily if you can’t do financial stuff yourself, or if you struggle to get out. They are usually for a specific purpose such as the sale of a house if abroad or last for a specific period of time.
  • Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) – An LPA document allow’s a person or people to be nominated to make decisions about financial affairs and/or health and care decisions. In the event someone lacks the mental capacity to make those decisions themselves, an LPA lasts during any period of incapacity. It provides peace of mind if that event should occur in the future, the attorney(s) named can help. There are two types of LPA: one for financial decisions and one for health and care decisions.
  • Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) – These cover decisions about property and financial affairs, with a nominated person able to make those decisions based on you lacking mental capacity at the time. EPAs can no longer be created and were replaced by LPAs in October 2007, but the team at Winns are still able to advise on their use and registration. An existing EPA providing it is valid can still be registered and used. It is often worth checking it is still valid and is up to date.

 

Rebecca from the Wills and Probate team was fantastic, she explained complicated Power of Attorney information to my mother very sensitively. She made a complicated process very easy for everyone involved. Kind, thoughtful and professional.

Tim

 

How can Winns help?

The team at Winn Solicitors specialises in matters of Wills, Probate & Trusts, arranging your wishes into legally binding documents in a sensitive, compassionate and diligent manner. We understand the importance of setting up Powers of Attorney and what that represents to you and so, using our extensive experience, we can help navigate the process with as little hassle as possible.

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FAQs

What is mental capacity?

It is the ability of a person to communicate and make their own decisions at the time they need to be made. You need to understand the decision being made, why it is important and the consequences of the decision to be classed as having mental capacity.

What if you don’t have a Power of Attorney in place?

In the event that you lack mental capacity to make your own decisions on financial, health and care matters, you may assume, if married or in a civil partnership, that your spouse would take on that responsibility in a legal sense. That’s not true. If you don’t have a valid LPA or EPA, then an application to the Court of Protection is required for a Court Order to be made to manage your financial affairs that a Property LPA would achieve. It is also possible for an Order to be made regarding your Health matters but these are much rarer.

This legal body can decide on your mental capacity, make an order on these key decisions – based on health, care and/or financial elements – if you do lack mental capacity, and appoint a Deputy to make those decisions on your behalf.

How do I make changes to my Power of Attorney?

As a general rule, you can’t make changes to an LPA after it has been registered. If you really need to make changes to an LPA after it has been registered, you will need to register a new one and end the existing LPA. If you are unsure, contact us or the Office of Public Guardian for advice on the matter.

Call Winns today and let our dedicated team help you through the process of setting up Powers of Attorney.

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