Lasting Powers of Attorney

Lasting Powers of Attorney

​What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that gives a third party the authority to deal with your affairs if you become unable to do so for reasons such as loss of mental capacity, illness or accident. You can only create a Lasting Power of Attorney if you still retain the necessary mental capacity to do so.
Why make a Lasting Power of Attorney?

If you do not sign a Lasting Power of Attorney whilst you have mental capacity and you later become unable to deal with your affairs due to an accident, illness or lack of mental capacity an application will need to be made to the Court of Protection for the appointment of a Deputy. The cost of such an application is significantly more expensive and time consuming than a Lasting Power of Attorney. The administrative obligation it also places on your Deputy whom is often a loved one is more onerous with annual accounts needing to be submitted to the Court of Protection each year. Your Deputy may also not be someone you would have chosen had you been able to make that decision.

There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney:

Property & Finances

This allows a person or persons of your choice (Attorney/s) to manage your assets and pay bills to include managing your bank accounts, benefits and pensions and to buy/sell investments and property on your behalf.

Health & Wellfare

This allows a person or persons of your choice to make decisions over medical conditions and personal welfare issues such as where you live, your day-to-day care or medical treatment. You can also give your Attorney(s) the authority to give or refuse life-sustaining treatment on your behalf.

Important provisions for you to consider:

Property and Financial affairs Lasting Powers of Attorney have sections which allow you as the ‘Donor’ to provide preferences or instructions in relation to managing your finances such as:

• Authority for your investments to be subject to discretionary fund management
Investments that are managed by brokers or wealth managers, can be subject to a discretionary management arrangement. This ensures that the wealth managers can act quickly when necessary without the need for regular instructions. Unless your LPA includes a provision for this type of investment the regulatory body known as the Office of the Public Guardian takes the view that attorneys do not have power to delegate their authority to wealth managers without specific authorisation from the ‘donor’

• Providing for accounts to be prepared and produced to an independent person
Attorneys are under a duty to keep accounts but there is no obligation for those accounts to be produced for external scrutiny. It is paramount you trust your attorney implicitly however this option can provide another level of security and peace of mind. The accounts could be produced to a solicitor, accountant or another independent person. Any irregularities can be investigated and reported to the Office of the Public Guardian.

If you require a Lasting Power of Attorney or have an existing Lasting Power of Attorney which does not adequately reflect your wishes, contact one of our expert solicitors to discuss your requirements.