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LASTING POWER OF ATTORNEY
In circumstances where a person becomes incapable of making decisions for themselves, a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) gives an appointed person the right to make decisions on their behalf.
When would you need a LPA?
You may wish to apply for a LPA yourself should you worry about what might happen if you became the victim of a serious accident or serious illness. Most people use LPAs as they become elderly and wish to entrust their affairs to a close relative or friend in order to safeguard against future illness or lack of mental capacity.
But why have one?
If you do not appoint an Attorney and your mental capacity deteriorates a Public Guardianship Officer will act as your Attorney to look after your affairs; it will be too late at this point for a family member or close friend to be appointed as you will not have the mental capacity to make such an appointment.
What are the benefits of making an LPA?
- can help you plan your property and affairs, health and wellbeing to ensure you are looked after in the future;
- allows you in advance to plan the decisions you want to be made on your behalf should you lose mental capacity;
- you are empowered to appoint the person that you want to make the decisions and how you want that person to make that decision for you;
- it is a safe way of maintaining control over decisions made because the formal document has to be registered with the Office of Public Guardian before it can actually be used.
How many people should I appoint as my Attorney and who?
Depending upon the circumstances it may be better to appoint more than one person as Attorney in order to minimize or prevent any abuse of the responsibility. You are best placed to choose someone that you trust implicitly. You should consider how well they look after their own financial and personal affairs and whether you can trust them to use your money to meet your needs and act in your best interests and not in their own to your detriment.
Does this mean that my Attorney can deal with my affairs straight away?
No, the LPA only comes into effect once it is registered. You can either register this yourself, or your Attorney can if they think you are not able to make decisions for yourself. Should your Attorney determine to register the LPA, you would be notified and can object to the LPA being registered if you have any cause for concern.
Should you require further advice in regards to the above, please fill in the form on the right hand side of this page and we will contact you as soon as possible. Alternatively contact us on 01904 642727 for your FREE 30 minute consultation at our York, Leeds or Harrogate offices.