Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs)
No one wants to think about what might happen if they become mentally incapable. Sadly, this could happen to anyone, at any time.
If the worst should happen, preparing a lasting power of attorney (LPA) can minimise problems that might otherwise affect you and your family.
LPA’s are legal documents that allow a person (the Donor) to appoint someone else (the Attorney) to make decisions on their behalf.
There are two types of LPA’s:
The first form of LPA deals with health and welfare and comes into effect when someone loses capacity to make decisions for themselves. The types of areas that this LPA covers are decisions as to where one lives, what medical care one should receive and there is a specific section that gives you the option of deciding whether you want to give your Attorney the power to make decisions regarding any life sustaining treatment.
The second form of LPA deals with property and finance. As the name suggests, the Attorney appointed under this LPA deals with money, investments, the payment of bills and related matters. Most people put in a provision to the effect that this LPA will only come into force and effect when a doctor has certified that you have lost mental capacity.
Although the process of making a LPA is quite complicated, losing mental capacity without a LPA in place, leaves your family, friends and advisers in a very difficult position. Their only alternative would be to apply to have a Deputy appointed by the Court of Protection, which takes more time and can be expensive.
It is therefore advisable to put a LPA in place. The LPA forms are divided into three parts:
In part A, you decide who your Attorneys are and whether they need to act jointly or severally – in other words do they all need to agree to any decision being made or, if there is more than one Attorney, can each individual make decisions.
Part B provides information on a person known as a Certificate Provider, who will certify that you understand the purpose and scope of the LPA and that there is no fraud or undue pressure on you to create it.
Part C is signed by the Attorney, who accepts the responsibility to act as an Attorney under the LPA.
These are important decisions and our Private Wealth team is very experienced in these matters. They can assist you with the legal process and guide you through the careful decisions that need to be made, both in terms of appointing your Attorney and executing your wishes.