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Lasting Powers of Attorney

What Are The Different Types Of Lasting Power Of Attorney

Lasting Powers Of Attorney

17th August 2020

Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) allows someone to act on your behalf or make decisions for you if you’re no longer able to or no longer want to do so on your own. The person (or people) that you choose is referred to as your “attorney”, and you determine the decisions they are allowed to make for you (the “donor”).

There are two types of LPA. One type covers decisions about your health and welfare, and the other covers decisions about your property and finances. You can choose to use both types or just one. You are able to appoint the same attorney for each or you can opt for different attorneys. An LPA must be registered at the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) to be valid.

There’s a lot to consider when looking into LPAs. This guide to Lasting Power of Attorney will examine the two types of LPAs so you are able to plan effectively.

Health and Welfare LPA

A Health and Welfare LPA allows your attorney to make decisions regarding your health and welfare on your behalf. There may come a time when you do not have the mental capacity to make important decisions for yourself. This could be the result of an accident, illness, or old age. With a Health and Welfare LPA, your attorney can make decisions about medical care and your daily routine. Here are some of the decisions your Health and Welfare attorney can make:

  • Where to live and whom to live with.
  • Who may visit and who may not.
  • What to buy and where to shop.
  • What clothes to wear.
  • Running the home, choosing decoration and furniture.
  • Treatment and welfare care.
  • Decisions regarding terminal illness treatment and care.
  • Determining where the donor may like to die and making funeral arrangements.

You are also able to give your health and welfare attorney the power to refuse or accept life-sustaining treatment on your behalf. The required paperwork will ask if you wish to provide this power or not and you’ll need to clearly state your intention.

It’s important to understand that this decision can affect any advance decision you have previously made. If you give your attorney the power to make decisions about life-sustaining treatment, it will overrule your advance decision. However, if you choose not to give your attorney this power, your advance decision will stand.

A Health and Welfare LPA can only be used when you don’t have the mental capacity to make decisions on your own. Without it in place, no one will have the legal authority to make decisions for you. This can result in you being cared for in a way that you would not have wanted, as the ability to make decisions is not in your loved ones’ hands.

Property and Financial Affairs LPA

A Property and Financial Affairs LPA covers decisions about your property and finances. If a time comes where you can no longer manage your finances, you can grant an attorney the power to do it for you. Here are some of the decisions your Property and Financial Affairs attorney can make on your behalf:

  • Paying bills, including your rent, mortgage, or other household expenses.
  • Opening, operating, or closing any bank or other financial accounts.
  • Handling your tax affairs.
  • Receiving any income, inheritance, or other entitlement on your behalf.
  • Insuring, maintaining, and repairing your property.
  • Deciding whether to buy or sell a home.
  • Investing your savings into stocks, mutual funds, or other financial instruments.
  • Making limited gifts on your behalf.
  • Paying for private medical and residential care or nursing home fees.

With a Property and Financial Affairs LPA, you get to choose when you want your attorney to be able to act. This could be the moment the LPA is registered or at some point in the future, such as any situation where you’re no longer able to make these decisions for yourself. You are also able to limit the decisions the attorney is allowed to make or place conditions on what they are able to do.

A big difference between a Health and Welfare LPA and a Property and Financial Affairs LPA is that with the latter, you can appoint an attorney to manage your affairs at any time, not just when you are no longer able to decide for yourself.

Let’s consider a situation where this might be useful. If you have assets in England and Wales but are planning to leave the country for an extended period of time, you may want someone still in the country to manage your financial affairs while you’re away. Another example is those with mobility issues: While you may still have the mental capacity to make decisions for yourself, it would be more practical to allow someone you trust the authority to handle certain tasks for you.

Conclusion

The best way to protect your future is by planning today. By making a Lasting Power of Attorney for finance and health you are ensuring that your affairs are handled by someone you trust. Elizabeth Middleton Solicitors wants to help you prepare for the future with our friendly and client-driven approach. Contact us today to learn more about our Lasting Power of Attorney services.

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Lasting Powers of Attorney

Why Should I Have a Lasting Power of Attorney?

lawyer reviewing lasting powers of attorney

10th July 2020

The autonomy to make your own decisions about financial and health matters is something you cherish, but it is not something you can afford to take for granted. After all, despite the veneer, there is much in life that is beyond our control. When the unexpected happens, not having a plan already in place can create extensive and difficult complications for you and your loved ones.

Say something tragic and unforeseen such as a devastating accident takes away your mental capacity for making important decisions. Or maybe an illness brings the same terrible result. Longevity presents these challenges as well. With the average lifespan in developed countries continuing to rise, there are more people suffering the debilitating effects of conditions such as Alzheimer’s and dementia.

These are things no one wants and few expect, but they happen, and when they do, serious legal problems can follow. If you own a business, who will operate it and continue making important decisions regarding your company? Who will decide how to manage your property and other assets? Who will make health and welfare decisions about treatments, medications, assisted living, and more?

For these considerations, designating a lasting power of attorney is indispensable, and here we will provide a brief but informative guide to understanding the concept.

What Is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

Lasting Power of Attorney, or LPA, is a legally recognized way of assigning one or more persons to make financial and health decisions for you in the event that you no longer can. The person appointing this responsibility to another is the “Donor,” and the recipient is the “Attorney.”

There are two categories of LPA. Lasting power of attorney for property and financial affairs (Property & Financial LPA) is one, and a lasting power of attorney for health and personal welfare (Health & Welfare LPA) is the other. With the former, you can opt for assistance even if you are still capable, and the latter goes into effect if you have lost your mental capacity for making those decisions.

One of the most common questions about LPA is who can be designated with it. The answer: almost anyone that you trust. Most often, this means a spouse or civil partner, a sibling, an adult child, a close friend, or a legal professional.

Another common question is whether there can be only one person designated with LPA or if multiple people can be selected. You can certainly designate a single person for everything, but you don’t have to. One option available is to designate different people for different things (maybe your nurse cousin would be best to handle health decisions while your accountant younger sibling would be well-suited for decisions about finances, for example).

There is also the option to designate multiple people for the same matters so that decisions are group ones and not left in the hands of a single person. That second one can also make sense when you consider that the unexpected can occur to anyone. You as the Donor are far from the only one who could face diminished or lost capacity to make critical personal and financial decisions.

How Does It Work? How Do I Make Sure It Isn’t Abused?

A common misconception about LPAs is that once you designate one, you have instantly and forever signed away all control of your affairs. This is not the case at all, and there are several safeguards that protect you:

  • You cannot be forced into making an LPA. When you go through the process, a professional or trusted acquaintance acts as the Certificate Provider, officially verifying that you were of sound mind when establishing the LPA and that you were not coerced to do it.
  • Only after you register the LPA with the Office of the Public Guardian will it go into effect.
  • You establish the terms under which the LPA goes into effect.
  • As discussed previously, you determine who will have LPA status, how many will, and in what manner (individually or collectively) decisions will be made.
  • While you retain your mental faculties, you can change terms, replace designated people, and add new people.
  • If there is suspicion that the Attorney is not acting in the best interests of the Donor, the Court of Protection can invalidate an LPA and the Office of the Public Guardian can investigate.

The Care and Expertise of Elizabeth Middleton Solicitors

The subject of mental incapacity is one many people would rather not think about, but it represents an unfortunate reality for many people at some point in their lives. Since even the young and strong can experience catastrophe, it is also not a subject to put off until trouble starts to present itself.

Elizabeth Middleton Solicitors provides compassionate, professional assistance with the process of creating an LPA. We will be with you every step of the way, from discussing options and terms to helping you determine whom to designate with such great responsibility. We are here to help make sure that decisions regarding your health and assets aren’t needlessly complicated, nor apart from your wishes if the time ever arises. In establishing an LPA, you are looking after not only your well-being but that of your loved ones and your estate. Contact us today to get started on establishing peace of mind for you and those love you most.

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Lasting Powers of Attorney

Lasting Powers Of Attorney (LPA)

22nd April 2020

A Guide To Understanding The Different Types Of LPA

When it comes to giving someone Lasting Power of Attorney, there are a few fundamental things to note about the different types and what they mean. In this article, Elizabeth Middleton Solicitors has outlined the options that can be put in place to give you peace of mind that someone you trust is in charge of your affairs.

If you’re aged 18 or older and have the mental ability to make financial, property and medical decisions for yourself, you can arrange for someone else to make these decisions for you in the future if there comes a time when you’re unable to make decisions for yourself. This legal authority is called “lasting power of attorney” and will give people that you nominate the power to make decisions on your behalf.

The person who is given power of attorney is known as the “attorney” and must be over 18 years old. You are known as the “donor”.

There are 2 different types of LPA:

Personal Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)

A personal welfare LPA gives your attorney the power to make decisions about your daily routine in the event that you are unable to make your own decisions. This can include washing, dressing, eating, medical care, moving into a care home and life-sustaining medical treatment.

Property & Financial Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)

Property and financial affairs LPA gives your attorney the power to make decisions about your money and property, including managing your bank or building society accounts, paying bills, collecting your pension or benefits and, if necessary, selling your home.

Once registered with the Office of the Public Guardian, it can be used immediately or held in readiness until required.

It’s generally recommended that you set up both a personal welfare LPA and a property and financial affairs LPA at the same time and many people do this while reviewing or revising their Will. You can read more about the benefits of preparing a Will in our article titled ‘Do I need a Will?’.

For more information about LPA’s or advice on registering an Attorney, get in touch with Elizabeth Middleton Solicitors based in Woodley for trusted advice and a professional and respectful service.

Tel: 0118 343 2737
Email: [email protected]