A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a recognised legal document that allows you to appoint those you trust the most (your attorneys) to make decisions on your behalf, should you ever need them to.
It’s really important for you and your dependents that you arrange them now while you are fit, well and able to.
As we get older, accidents or illness can strike at any time. In fact, the Alzheimer’s Society states there are currently around 850,000 people with dementia in the UK (40,000 are under 65). This number is set to exceed one million by 2025.
So, if a time does come when you can no longer handle your own affairs the way you want to, your LPA will ensure your spouse/partner, children or a close friend can handle all these important matters for you.
Type of Lasting Power of Attorney
There are two different types of LPA. Just click on the links below to see how these essential documents can each serve to protect you during your lifetime:
- Property & Financial Affairs LPA
- Health and Welfare LPA
Or if you’d prefer to chat to someone about this, simply call us today on free phone 0800 411 8668.
Property & Financial Affairs LPA
Your Property & Financial Affairs LPA allows those you choose to manage your finances at any time of your life.
You might not want to handle all (or certain parts) of your finances yourself any longer, or you may prefer a safeguard should you become unable to manage them.
You can also state in your LPA that you’d only like it to come into force if you lose capacity.
Your Property & Financial Affairs LPA can ensure decisions are made about:
- Paying your bills
- Collecting your income and benefits
- Selling your home
- Drawing down further funds from your equity release plan
- Investing money
Whilst it isn’t mandatory for you to have a Lasting Power of Attorney in place when you take out an equity release plan, we do strongly recommend to anyone choosing a ‘drawdown’ lifetime mortgage to arrange their Property & Financial Affairs LPA.
We do this because if you’re single, or the equity release plan is solely in your name, then you may be unable to request further drawdowns yourself if you have an accident or start to lose mental capacity.
If you’ve taken out a joint drawdown plan, the same applies. Both of you need to agree and sign the papers every time you apply to release further funds. It’s not enough for just one of you to be able to sign unless an LPA is in place.
A valid LPA will allow your chosen attorney (your spouse, perhaps) to sign the papers on your behalf, enabling further releases in the future.
What happens if I do not have an LPA in place?
If you’re married or in a civil partnership, you may think your spouse will automatically be able to deal with your bank accounts and pensions if you lose the ability to do so.
But this isn’t the case.
Even if you both have a joint bank account, if one of you loses mental capacity then the other does not automatically have the right to access the account.
To do so, there needs to be a valid LPA in place naming them as an attorney.
Your Health and Welfare LPA
Most of us assume that if we ever lost our mental capacity, our spouse or partner will be legally able to make the decisions for us. But this isn’t the case.
Because if such a situation does happen to you and you don’t have a suitable LPA in place, then any decisions about your healthcare will be made by doctors who will make them based on your best interests. They will consult your family, of course, but the final decision will rest with medical staff.
But by appointing your loved ones as your attorneys now, it will ensure their decisions, made on your behalf, are adhered to.
At Bower, we understand this is a sensitive but important matter.
So we offer a range of carefully tailored services designed to give you control, peace of mind and help you organise your life the way you want to.
Get in touch with us today to find out more.
Health and Welfare LPA guidelines
Your attorney can only use this type of LPA when you no longer have the mental capacity to make decisions for yourself. They will help you by making decisions about things such as:
- Where you live or where you are treated
- Day-to-day care including your diet and medication
- Whether to accept or refuse life-sustaining treatment
- Who can and cannot have contact with you
Who can be an attorney?
It is entirely your choice who will be your attorney(s). However, they must be over 18 and cannot be paid care workers.
People often choose their spouse, partner, children, sibling or a close friend to fulfill this role, but you can ask an accountant, solicitor or other professional. Do bear in mind they are likely to charge for their time.
Final points to note:
- You do not have to appoint the same people on both LPAs
- For a Property & Financial Affairs LPA, your attorney(s) cannot have been declared bankrupt
How to set up your LPA
Through our legal partners, we can offer a professional, personal Lasting Power of Attorney service.
Right from the start, you’ll be assigned a dedicated legal adviser who will take care of everything for you.
They’ll take the time to get to know your individual circumstances, needs and wants, and will work meticulously to ensure your documents cover absolutely everything you need them to.
They will expertly prepare these essential legal documents for you, either on their own or alongside your equity release application.
You can speak to our friendly and professional team right now on free phone 0800 411 8668.
Lasting Power of Attorney replaced the old system of Enduring Power of Attorney (EPAs). EPAs created before October 2007 may still be valid, and our specialists can advise you on this.