A lasting power of attorney can protect you and your assets if you become incapacitated. If you are concerned about making sure that there is someone you have chosen who can take over your financial matters or make health care decisions on your behalf, you need an LPA.
You would need both property and affairs LPA and a health and welfare LPA to cover both of these situations. Having these LPAs can save a great deal of money and can reduce the stress on your family. Without these documents, the court will appoint someone to handle these responsibilities instead.
If you share any joint accounts with another person, but you do not have an LPA, and you become incapacitated, that account could be restricted until the court appoints a Deputy. With an LPA, the selected individual would also be able to pay bills, sell the property and take other actions on your behalf.
For issues related to health care, the person you have appointed can make such decisions about your regular care as to whether you will be moved into a care home and what kind of treatment you will have.
You can choose one or more people to act as your attorney. The only requirement is that they are at least 18 years old, not bankrupt and not incapacitated. The person can be a friend or a relative.
You should think carefully about whom to appoint for these responsibilities. This needs to be a person or people who are close to you, who will understand your wishes and who can make decisions under pressure.
Once you know whom you would like to appoint as your Attorney or Attorneys, the process of getting an LPA is fairly straightforward. The next step is filling out the necessary forms. Finally, your LPA must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. You should be aware that this process can take as long as ten weeks.
A health and welfare LPA is only effective if you become incapacitated. A property and financial affairs LPA can take immediate effect if you want it to. Either can be cancelled if you feel you no longer need them.
You may want to have both types of LPAs along with other documents, such as a will or trusts. Making a will and preparing LPAS and other documents the right way and understanding their scope is important.
If you need further advice or help with your Will, contact Paradigm Wills on 0116 464 7055. We offer legal services throughout the UK, including Leicester, Birmingham and London.