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What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a way of giving someone you trust the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf if you lack mental capacity at some time in the future or no longer wish to make decisions for yourself. This could include circumstances such as being in a coma as a result of an accident or falling victim to a dementia type of illness.

There are two types of LPAs, of which you can have one or both

  • for financial and property affairs (F&PA)
  • for health and welfare decisions (H&W)

What happens if I don’t have an LPA in place?

If you become unable to make your own decisions, things can become very complicated for your loved ones. What many people are not aware of is that, should something happen to a spouse (including falling into a coma after being in an accident) all your joint accounts are frozen at the point of incapacitation. To access them, a spouse would need to go through the Court of Protection to deal with your affairs which can be an extremely expensive and time consuming process. The BBC One Show video below shows how hard things became for Heather Bateman managing her husband’s affairs when she did not have an LPA in place when he fell into a coma.

Financial and Property Affairs LPA

An attorney (the person who makes decisions for you) can generally make decisions on things such as:

  • buying and selling property
  • paying the mortgage
  • investing money
  • paying bills
  • arranging repairs to property

Health and Welfare LPA

This covers decisions about healthcare as well as personal welfare and can only be used once a person has lost mental capacity. An attorney can generally make decisions about things such as:

  • 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.

 

Lasting powers of attorney were introduced in October 2007, replacing the old system of enduring power of attorney (EPA). An EPA created before October 2007 remains valid. At Langdale Wills, we believe in the importance of having LPA's in place, and offer a cost effective service of their creation. Our fees have no hidden costs. Call us today for a no obligation quote.

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Berkshire
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