A power of attorney is a legal document that allows someone to make decisions for you, or act on your behalf, if you’re no longer able to or if you no longer want to make your own decisions.
Why should you have an LPA?
You can never know what the future holds and so the best way to ensure that your finances are in order is to set up an LPA with a trusted solicitor, family member, or friend appointed as your attorney. If you do not have an LPA in place should you lose mental capacity, your financial and welfare decision may be made by Social Services or your local authority without consulting your family or friends.
There are several reasons why you might need someone to make decisions for you or act on your behalf:
- This could just be a temporary situation: for example, if you’re in hospital and need help with everyday tasks such as paying bills.
- You may need to make longer-term plans if, for example, you have been diagnosed with dementia and you may lose the mental capacity to make your own decisions in the future.
An LPA for financial decisions can cover things such as:
- buying and selling property
- paying the mortgage
- investing money
- paying bills
- arranging repairs to property.
You can restrict the types of decisions your attorney can make or let them make all decisions on your behalf.
A health LPA covers different aspects such as what decisions you would like your attorneys to make if you are not capable of making them yourself in relation to your health and welfare (for instance regarding end of life care).
You can appoint as many attorneys as you want.
There is no limit to the number of attorneys you can appoint. You can decide whether your attorneys should act “jointly”, meaning they decide everything together, or “jointly and severally” meaning they can act together or independently. Your attorneys must only make decisions that are in your best interests. They cannot make a decision that merely benefits them.
If you would like to find out more about setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney or want to instruct a solicitor to help you through the process, please contact Lara Thomas on email@example.com or call our office on 01753 486 777.