Why Make a Lasting Power of Attorney?
Have you thought what would happen if someday you were to become mentally incapable of managing your own financial and welfare affairs? The reality is that as the average lifespan increases the need to have a Lasting Power of Attorney is becoming ever more important.
What are Lasting Powers of Attorney?
Lasting Powers of Attorney have been introduced to replace Enduring Powers of Attorney. They consist of increased checks and safeguards to prevent abuses. A Lasting Power of Attorney details the kinds of decision your nominated Attorney(s) might make on your behalf and any limitations you may wish to include. Your Attorney(s) cannot act under the Power unless it is registered with the Public Guardian.
Lasting Powers of Attorney are similar to Enduring Powers of Attorney in that they are signed whilst the donor has the mental capacity to manage his or her affairs, and once registered with the Office of the Public Guardian, continue to be valid even if the donor loses mental capacity.
Broadly speaking, there are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney, which allow you to choose someone trusted (the Attorney) to make decisions on your behalf about a) Property and Financial Affairs and b) Health and Welfare issues if you lack the mental capacity to make those decisions yourself.
Sarah Finnigan, a Solicitor in our Private Client Department, talks about the importance of a Lasting Power of Attorney:-
Do I need a Lasting Power of Attorney?
“Power of attorney can be crucial and it is important not to leave it too late to decide who would look after your affairs if you ever became incapable of doing so yourself. If you do not appoint an attorney and are then deemed mentally incapable of running your finances, your assets will effectively be frozen and it will be up to a court to decide who handles your affairs.” From the Daily Telegraph
In October 2007, Lasting Powers of Attorney replaced Enduring Powers of Attorney, although existing Enduring Powers remain valid and can continue to be used. Lasting Powers of Attorney require relatives or nominated friends to fill out longer forms and are more expensive to produce but it is intended that they will be more effective at preventing unscrupulous relatives seizing control of a person’s financial affairs.
If you become mentally incapable before making a Lasting Power of Attorney, it will become necessary for your relative, friend or solicitor to liaise with the Court of Protection to obtain a deputyship and this can be a drawn out and expensive procedure.
Pearson Solicitors strongly recommend that all adults make arrangements under the Lasting Powers of Attorney system and if you, your partner or elderly relative is in poor mental or physical health, a Lasting Power of Attorney should be drawn up whilst capacity still exists.
Pearson Solicitors are specialists in preparing Lasting Powers of Attorney.
For advice on making a Lasting Power of Attorney contact email@example.com or call 0161 785 3500