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.