JEFFREY MILLS SOLICITORS
- Lasting Powers of Attorney -
“Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today” (Benjamin Franklin)
May - July 2017
It is important to prepare for your future whilst you are able to do so to ensure your wishes take effect.
This month I will be looking at Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs).
LPAs are often seen as something that you only need to think about when you get older and here I hope to explain that this is not the case and why everyone should have them.
What is an LPA?
Through an LPA you give the power to make decisions on your behalf to your chosen attorneys (attorneys are people you appoint to act for you).
You can have up to 4 attorneys.
It is important to choose people who you trust and who care for you as they will be entrusted to make sensitive decisions on your behalf.
Importantly you need to have the mental capacity to make an LPA.
There are 2 different types of LPA.
The first type, the Property and Financial LPA, allows you to appoint attorneys over your property and financial affairs.
Any attorneys appointed would be able to pay bills, sign cheques, deal with investments and buy and sell property on behalf of the donor.
You can extend the power to enable it to be used with your consent as soon as it has been registered. This can be useful if you regularly travel abroad for extended periods of time.
The second type of LPA is called a Health and Welfare LPA.
This allows your attorneys to make more personal decisions on your behalf such as what medical treatment you should receive, where you should be treated and where you should live.
You can also give your attorneys the power to make decisions about whether or not you should receive life sustaining treatment, or specify whether you would prefer doctors to make such decisions instead.
What happens if there isn’t an LPA?
If you don’t have a valid LPA and subsequently lose the mental capacity required to create one, there is still the option to apply to the Court of Protection for a Deputy to be appointed to act on your behalf.
This is an expensive and lengthy process, but perhaps most importantly you will not have chosen who will make the application to be your Deputy.
Loss of Mental Capacity
Mental incapacity can occur for a variety of reasons, not only because of diseases in later life such as Alzheimer’s or senile dementia, but also due to a stroke or other illness or as a result of an accident.
If you want to ensure that your property passes to the people you would wish to receive it, then you really should have a valid Will in place.
This is especially important for unmarried, non-civil partners, co-habiting couples, as with LPAs you need to have the appropriate mental capacity to execute the Will.
As the title to this article says “Don’t put off until tomorrow what you can do today” or it may be too late.
Contact Sally and her team if you have any questions or would like to know more about Lasting Powers of Attorney.
Jeffrey Mills Solicitors
Congratulations to Hannah Byatt, Head of Family Law who took part in the London Marathon for The Neuro Foundation (NF), as part of Team Emilio.
(Emilio appeared as our January front cover star and you can find out more about the team and Emilio’s journey on our website and Facebook.)
Should you require legal assistance from a firm with family values and a fresh approach, contact Jeffrey Mills Solicitors.
Tel: 01480 219600