What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a document that gives someone you trust the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf if you lack mental capacity at some time in the future or no longer wish to make decisions for yourself. There is a LPA document which relates purely to your finances and your property and another, totally separate, LPA document which relates to your health and personal welfare. The two documents together provide your attorney(s) with the ability to look after any aspect of your affairs that they may be required to deal with. We are experts in creating LPAs and have produced thousands since they came into force on 1st October 2007.

As we get older, we become more prone to illness and injuries, which can sometimes mean it is too difficult to manage our affairs. You may think that this doesn’t apply to you if you have not reached your senior years yet, but this is incorrect. What if you became very ill or were in an accident? How would you manage your affairs and pay your bills?

Also, when a joint bank account holder loses mental capacity, the bank will freeze the account for all transactions apart from emergencies, until someone has been appointed by the court. This is a long and costly process that can take months with no bills being paid!

And what if you have a business, who will make decisions on your behalf? What happens to any properties or assets you hold jointly with anyone? By setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney, you can authorise someone you trust to administer your financial responsibilities on your behalf. This can include selling your property, managing investments, paying bills and running your business.

Let’s also suppose the worst were to happen, and you needed somebody to make decisions for you regarding your medical treatment. Without setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney, your loved ones might not be able to make these decisions for you.

A Lasting Power of Attorney is a vital document, which must be set up with someone who is responsible and whom you trust with your assets.