Power of Attorney
In England and Wales, a lasting power of attorney ("LPA") is a document which allows you to appoint a person that you trust to make decisions on your behalf should you become unable to do so yourself.
A lasting power of attorney can be granted at any time while you still have mental capacity (are still able to make decisions on your own behalf). It isn’t legally binding until it has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.
There are two types of LPA – one which grants a person that you trust responsibility (either immediately or in future, should you lose mental capacity) for your financial and property affairs, and another which gives someone responsibility over your health and welfare needs. You can choose to appoint more than one person – such as a family member, spouse or a friend – to act as your attorney.
A lasting power of attorney is a cost-effective way of ensuring that should the worst happen, and you are no longer able to manage your own affairs, you have a trusted person in place – with the appropriate legal documentation – who can coordinate things on your behalf.
If you do not have an LPA in place and lose the mental capacity to manage your own affairs, a body called the Court of Protection may have the right to take over. If this happens, your loved ones can apply to the Court of Protection for deputyship powers, but there is no guarantee that the application will be successful and the fees can cost thousands of pounds. Thompsons has experts who can help those dealing with the Court of Protection because they did not have an LPA in place prior to the loss of mental capacity.
However, where possible, the best and most cost effective way to guarantee that the person you want is responsible for managing your affairs, should you become unable to, is to apply for a LPA while you are still in good health.
We find the lasting power of attorney service to be particularly valuable to our serious injury and asbestos disease clients, who are often looking for long-term solutions to ensure their complex needs are met and their affairs are in order. However, a lasting power of attorney can offer peace of mind to anyone who wishes to ensure their loved ones are able to manage their affairs in later life, or in the event of an accident or injury.
To learn more about this service and how we can support you in making an application for lasting powers of attorney, visit the BBH Legal site.