Lasting Power of Attorney - your questions answered
Posted by siteadmin on Thursday 4th of February 2021.
Registering your Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) grants someone, or a small group of people, the ability to act on your behalf. This means they can make legal decisions in your best interest, if you become incapable of doing so yourself. This could include decisions regarding your finances, property or personal welfare and living situation.
Understanding your options isn’t always straightforward, so here are the answers to some questions you may have about LPAs.
1. Who can register an LPA?
Any adult who is mentally capable to make important decisions can register someone as their LPA. No matter who you are or what stage of life you’re in, it’s a smart decision to think about registering an LPA when you’re fit and healthy, well before you might ever need one.
2. Why should I consider registering my LPA?
When you register an LPA, you become a ‘donor’, and your trusted person(s) becomes an attorney. As a donor, it can be comforting knowing that your future affairs are in the hands of trusted people.
Registering an LPA allows you to have complete control over who is responsible for your important future decisions, and what types of decisions they can then make. An LPA means that in the event of an accident or injury, your interests are protected.
In the unfortunate situation that you’ve been diagnosed with an illness, degenerative, or age-related condition that effects your mental capabilities, but you’re still currently capable to make your own decisions, you’ll still be able to register an LPA. It is a good idea to get this sorted earlier on, to ensure it is place for when you need it.
There is an assumption that LPAs are only for those who are ill or older, but this isn’t always the case. Financial LPAs can be registered if you are going to be unable to look after your own finances for an extended period of time – for example if you are going travelling abroad and will be unable to verify financial processes that require your presence in person.
3. What can registering an LPA do for me?
It isn’t always easy to plan for the future, especially if your priorities are balanced in different ways. With an LPA you can register your attorney to specific responsibility areas. These areas involve:
- Property and finances
- Personal welfare
This allows you the ability, for example, to have an LPA in charge of your finances, but not your living situation or welfare.
In the case that you would like to register more than one attorney, you can decide if they act jointly on your behalf, or if some decisions can only made independently by a specific attorney.
4. How do I apply and register my LPA?
You can visit GOV.UK for more information, or you can contact the Office of the Public Guardian. The process will require the consent and participation of both you and your selected attorney(s), and it also might be helpful to consult financial advisors and solicitors who will be able to work through the process with you.
While this list is in no way comprehensive, and different LPA set-ups will suit different people’s needs, it’s a useful guide to some of the benefits and peace of mind that an LPA could provide you and your family.
For more information on LPAs and to discuss your individual circumstances and options, make an enquiry with one of our trusted team, or get in touch on 0121 285 8528.