Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) are essential documents to put into place so that the person, or people, you would want to help you are able to in the correct legal manner.
You (known as “the Donor”) can choose to create a LPA to cover your Property and Financial affairs and/or your Health and Welfare.
You must choose at least one person (known as “Attorney/s”) to legally act for you and who could make decisions regarding, for example, managing your bank accounts, selling your home or deciding where you are to live.
This may seem like a big step but normally the LPAs are used by the Attorney/s if and when you became unwell and/or have lost mental capacity. In that situation, unless you have valid and registered LPAs, no person has any legal authority to help you.
Without LPAs in place the people closest to you (normally family and/or friends) would need to carry out a very expensive and time consuming application to the Court of Protection for a court order appointing them.
Not only is this application very expensive and time consuming, it can also be very stressful for the family or friends involved and ultimately the decision has been taken out of your hands.
Even if you are married or in a relationship and mostly have joint accounts/assets there are still many important reasons why LPAs should be considered.
Many people think LPAs can be left until you are either becoming unwell or are older. This may be the case but we have found from experience that it is sometimes too late and the Donor may not be well enough to put the documents in place.
If you are thinking about preparing LPAs then it is recommended that you speak to the family and/or close friends that you wish to involve in the process and ensure they have your best interests at heart.
At WBW, the Private Client team can talk to you in more detail about LPAs and assist you in the process in order for you to put in place legal documents where you have chosen who you want to help you.