Lasting Power of Attorney - Plan Ahead Posted by Probate Bureau , 11/05/2020

Lasting Power of Attorney - Plan Ahead

To ensure that the people you trust can make important decisions on your behalf when you cannot, you must ensure you have the appropriate documents ready. This is why we advise our clients to make sure they have valid Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA).

Here at The Probate Bureau, we offer an expert Lasting Power of Attorney service in Chelmsford.


What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

Unlike many may believe, a Lasting Power of Attorney does not prevent you from managing and dealing with your own affairs whilst you are able. It does, however, allow you to appoint specific attorneys to make decisions on your behalf.

There are two different types of Lasting Power of Attorney:

Financial Decisions: This will allow your chosen attorney(s) to deal with and make decisions regarding both your property and your finances. You can choose whether your attorneys can immediately manage your affairs - as whilst you have capacity they must have your consent to do so. You can choose whether to limit their power so they can only ever act when you are mentally unable to do so yourself.


An LPA for financial decisions will cover:

  • Buying and selling property
  • Paying mortgage payments
  • Investing money
  • Paying bills
  • Arranging repairs to property


Health and Welfare Decisions: This lasting power of attorney will allow your chosen attorney to make vital health and welfare decisions on your behalf, but only when you lack the mental capacity to make them yourself.

An LPA for health and welfare will cover:

  • Where you should live
  • Your medical care
  • What you should eat
  • Who you should have contact with
  • What kind of social activities you should take part in

This could also extend, if you so wish, to giving or refusing consent to the continuation of life-sustaining treatment.

Remember - If you are married, or in a civil partnership, you will understandably assume that your spouse will automatically be able to deal with your bank account and pensions and make important decisions about your healthcare, if you cannot. This is not the case, they need an LPA to have this authority.


Who Can I Pick as an Attorney?

When choosing your attorney, you can appoint anyone who is over the age of 18, including your partner, a family member or a friend. Make sure that the person you choose is someone you can trust to understand your wishes, respect your values and make decisions you would want.

Some important questions to ask yourself, when choosing your attorney(s) are:

  • Do they understand my wishes?
  • Will they respect my values and what I believe in?
  • Do I trust them to stand up for everything I want, even if a doctor disagrees?


Can I Have More Than One Attorney?

Yes, you can choose to have more than one attorney - there's no limit to the number of attorneys you can have. You will also have the chance to choose one or several replacement attorneys who will be able to take over the role if your original attorney cannot continue and fulfill the role.

If you have more than on attorney, you can choose how they will make decisions on your behalf:

 

Jointly and Severally

If your attorneys act 'jointly and severally' they can act both together and on their own. So, this means that, for example, if you were in hospital and a vital decision needed to be made on your behalf but only one of the attorneys could be contacted, then that attorney could still make the decision for you.

It also means that if one of the attorneys is unable to act, for example because they have passed away, the remaining attorneys will be able to step in.


Jointly

If you choose for your attorneys to act jointly, then they must only make decisions together. This means if, for example, you were in hospital and a decision needed to be made on your behalf but the doctors could only contact one of your attorneys, then that one attorney wouldn't be able to decide for you. All attorneys would need to agree before any actions could be made.


What's more, if you choose for your attorneys to act jointly and one attorney isn't able to act, for example because they've passed away, then your LPA will become invalid and the remaining attorneys won't be able to make any decisions for you. If you've appointed some replacement attorneys, they will be able to step in to act alone.


Jointly for Some Decisions, and Jointly and Severally for Other Decisions

This means you can specify the decisions you would like made together and the decisions where attorneys can act alone. If you don't specify how your attorneys must act when you fill in the form, they'll have to act jointly.


What Happens if I Don't Have a Power of Attorney?

If you lose the capacity to make your own decisions, and don't have a valid Lasting Power of Attorney or Enduring Power of Attorney, you will need to apply for a Court of Protection.


The Court of Protection will be able to:

  • Decide whether you have the mental capacity to make your own decisions.
  • Make an order relating to the health and care decisions or property and financial decisions of someone who lacks the mental capacity to do so themself.
  • Appoint a deputy to make decisions on behalf of someone who lacks mental capacity.


Creating a Power of Attorney in Chelmsford For Your Future

Are you looking to create a power of attorney in Chelmsford? Here at The Probate Bureau, it's our goal to ensure you create a valid document which outlines all your wishes and values completely, you have the peace of mind that your future is secure.


No matter whether you are in need of some advice or just have a few questions you'd like us to answer about your Lasting Power of Attorney, we'll be more than happy to help. Feel free to give us a call on 0808 256 2366.

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