The importance of a Lasting Power of Attorney

Leaving a will ensures your affairs are taken care of after your death, but many fail to consider what happens if they are not able to manage their affairs during their lifetime. In this article, we consider why you should plan and arrange a Lasting Power of Attorney.

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney

A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document whereby you formally give power to individuals called your attorneys to make decisions of your behalf.

There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney.

One is for property and financial affairs which allows your chosen attorneys to make decisions regarding your finances, such as moving money between your bank accounts, paying bills and selling or buying property. Under this type of Lasting Power of Attorney, your attorneys can help you at your discretion whilst you still have capacity, and then make decisions on your behalf if you lose capacity.

The second type of Lasting Power of Attorney is for health and welfare decisions which allows your attorneys to make decisions relating to where you should live, arrangements for day-to-day care and consenting to or refusing medical treatment. This type of Lasting Power of Attorney can only be used when you have lost the capacity to make decisions yourself.

Why should you make a Lasting Power of Attorney

An LPA is the only way that someone can choose who they trust to manage their affairs should they become either physically or mentally incapacitated in the future.

Postponing making lasting powers of attorney may cause issues later. If you do not have them in place and you do become uncapable of making decisions or taking care of yourself, your loved ones will have to make an application to the Court of Protection to be appointed as a deputy, which is much more expensive. This can be a lengthy process and in the intervening period, you may have difficulty accessing finances.

Business owners and Lasting Powers of Attorney

We regularly hear about the benefits of Lasting Powers of Attorney and their relevance to personal life, but the importance of a business Lasting Power of Attorney is often overlooked.

Without a business Lasting Power of Attorney in place, contractual and regulatory breaches may occur, with financial institutions likely to freeze accounts and overdraft facilities, making it difficult to pay creditors, salaries and suppliers.

How we can help

Our team are on hand to help guide you through every stage of the process. We are able to assist you in preparing and registering your lasting powers of attorney to ensure that they are valid and ready to use should the time come, avoiding any delays and financial difficulties in the future.

To find out more or to book an appointment with our team, using the contact form opposite, or call 01925 418 004.