What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
There has been a lot of coverage in the press recently around Powers of Attorney, so we have put together a summary of what it’s all about:
If you’re married or in a civil partnership, you may have assumed that your spouse would automatically be able to deal with your bank accounts and pensions, and make decisions about your healthcare, if you lose the ability to do so. This is not the case.
- Thinking and talking about what would happen if we lost the mental capacity to make decisions for ourselves is uncomfortable. Yet it's important to consider how much worse the situation would be if you had a stroke, serious accident or dementia (e.g. Alzheimer's) without sorting it first.
- If someone has difficulties that mean they can't make decisions anymore, they will need help managing their finances. A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document where someone (while they still have mental capacity) nominates a trusted friend or relative to look after their affairs if they lost capacity. The key point to remember ...
- Don’t think you suddenly give up control. You can choose whether it can be used either before, or only when, you lose mental capacity.
- Your representative should only ever make a choice for you if you're unable to make that specific decision at the time it needs to be made. For example, if you experience a short-term period of incapacity, your representative would start to look after your affairs, yet if you regain your capacity, you should be able to make your own decisions again.
What happens if I lose mental capacity and don’t have a power of attorney?
If you lose capacity to make your own decisions and you don’t have a valid lasting power of attorney or enduring power of attorney, you will need to apply to the Court of Protection.
The Court of Protection can:
What does a deputy do?
It’s much better to nominate a trusted friend or relative before you lose mental capacity, by setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).
If you would like to have an informal chat about your options, please feel free to call Dawn on 01969 623092 we are now able to offer a will writing, probate and administration service through our sister company Wills and Estate Planning Ltd and are an affiliated member of STEP - Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners.
For more details visit our website www.willsandestateplanning.co.uk
Dawn Clarkson - Wills and Estate Planning Ltd, Thornborough Hall, Leyburn