Managing your financial and legal affairs
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a document which appoints someone who can manage your financial and legal affairs if you were to find it difficult or impossible to do so yourself.
Lasting Powers of Attorney are inexpensive to set up and will give you peace of mind of knowing that should the worst happen, your affairs will be properly looked after by someone you trust.
Types of Lasting Powers of Attorney
- A Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney is a document which appoints someone (or more than one person) as your Attorney, so they can manage your financial and legal affairs in the same way that you would. It covers your property, money in the bank and investments.
- A Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney is a document which gives your appointed Attorney(s) power to make decisions in relation to your medical and personal care in the event that you do not have the necessary mental capacity to make these decisions yourself. It can also include, if you wish, power for your Attorney(s) to make decisions relating to whether you should receive life sustaining treatment.
There are certain safeguards when creating a Lasting Power of Attorney:
- You have to make the Lasting Power of Attorney yourself before you lose mental capacity – no one can make it for you
- Your Lasting Power of Attorney must be registered before it can be used
- This registration process offers safeguards because certain people have the right to object
- Your Attorney(s) must follow a Code of Practice and if they do not they can be found guilty of a criminal offence
- The Office of the Public Guardian has powers to investigate any abuses of duty by an Attorney
- You can place restrictions about what you want your Attorney to do.
What happens if I don’t have a Lasting Power of Attorney in place and I can’t manage my own affairs?
Without a Lasting Power of Attorney, if you did become incapable of managing your affairs, an application would have to be made to the Court of Protection. This is particularly common where Powers of Attorney have not been set up as the Data Protection Act prevents banks, insurance companies and other financial institutions from dealing with anyone other than you or your appointed Attorney.
This Court would appoint a Deputy and oversee the Deputy’s management of your financial affairs – but you would have no say in who that Deputy would be. The process would be very time-consuming, inflexible and expensive.
Lasting Powers of Attorney – Our costs and services
For a basic Lasting Power of Attorney, we offer a fixed fee charge. If you make both types of Lasting Powers of Attorney (as outlined above) at the same time, a discount would usually be applied.
A discount is also applied if you make a Lasting Power of Attorney at the same time as you make a Will.
For further information in relation to creating a Lasting Power of Attorney, please call us on 0800 024 1976 or contact us via our online enquiry form.
Power of Attorney Disputes
We can also assist if there is a dispute over a Power of Attorney, for example if they are not acting in the best interests of the person they represent. In these cases, Attorneys can be investigated by the Office of the Public Guardian and may be removed.
If you are the subject of an investigation, it is vital to seek legal advice as soon as possible and our specialist team can assist you in such circumstances.
Our team in Derby, Leicester and Nottingham includes members of the Association of Contentious Trust and Probate Specialists (ACTAPS) and is also recommended by the independently-researched Legal 500 as one of the top teams of specialists in the country.
Please call 0800 024 1976 or contact us via our online enquiry form to discuss how our specialist team might be able to act on your behalf in a Lasting Power of Attorney dispute.
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