The unfortunate possibility of not being able to manage your own finances and affairs is a consideration that ought to be made by all. Although the thought of not being able to maintain independent self-management is an unpleasant one, addressing the possibility and making provision for such circumstances can avoid a multitude of difficulties.

The following guide explains what a lasting power of attorney is, how it is created and managed and the benefits that it can offer. A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a legal document that allows an individual (the donor) to appoint one or more people (the attorney) to assist in making decisions, or to make decisions on their behalf if they are unable to. Anyone over the age of 18 can make an LPA as long as they have the mental capacity to do so when they create the document.

There are two types of LPA:

1. HEALTH AND WELFARE LASTING POWER OF ATTORNEY

This LPA is used for individuals who want to give the attorney the power to make decisions in areas such as:

• Daily living routine, including washing, eating and dressing

• Medical care and treatments

• Care workers and/or moving into a care home

• Life-sustaining treatment The health and welfare LPA can only be used if the donor is unable to make decisions for themselves i.e has lost mental capacity.

 

2. PROPERTY AND FINANCIAL AFFAIRS LASTING POWER OF ATTORNEY

This LPA is used by donors who want to pass over responsibility for decision making regarding property and finances in the event of their inability to do so.

The responsibilities of the attorney in these cases would often include areas such as:

• Management of bank and building society accounts

• Bill payments • Collecting benefits or pension payments

• Selling the donor’s property.

 

A property and financial affairs LPA can be used as soon as it is registered if the donor requests it.

WHO SHOULD BE THE ATTORNEY

One of the most important steps in making the LPA is determining who should act as the attorney. It is possible to appoint more than one person to act as an attorney, but it must be specified as to whether multiple attorneys can make decisions independently or whether all must agree.

The person appointed as attorney must be over 18, have the mental capacity to function in the role and could include:

• Relatives

• Friends

• Spouse

• Professionals such as solicitors or accountants.

It is important to consider how well the individual manages their own affairs (particularly their finances), how trustworthy their decision-making is and whether they will act with the best interests of the donor in mind. The appointed attorney will also need to be happy to work in the role and make potentially difficult decisions.

MAKING A LASTING POWER OF ATTORNEY

The regulated forms must be completed and registered in order for the LPA to be authorised. If they are not, the attorneys will not be able to make decisions on behalf of the donor.

Pishon Gold Solicitors are experienced and can complete the forms on your behalf and ensure the requisite formalities are met to validate your LPA. The LPA automatically ends upon the death of the donor.

Pishon Gold are proud supporters of The Chartwell Cancer Trust. If you are thinking of leaving a gift to support the work of this charity, we are pleased to offer a 10% discount on our standard will writing service. For more information contact:

Pishon Gold Solicitors LB of Bromley on 0208 468 1032
or email info@pishongold.co.uk