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Newport Office - 01633 251801

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Lasting powers of attorney

Have you ever thought about how you and your money and property would be looked after if you to have an accident or become so ill that you could not manage your own affairs? Many of us will suffer a significant period of incapacity at some time in our lives but fewer than one in twenty of us take the steps to help our family and dependants assist us in that event. The day to day tasks of managing our financial and personal matters may prove impossible both for ourselves and (unless the correct steps have already been taken) for our loved ones if an accident or physical or mental sickness occur. It is therefore essential to put safeguards in place beforehand by appointing one or more attorneys under a Lasting Power of Attorney. Whilst it is clear that this advice applies to people who know that they are likely to lose mental capacity in the near future (a common example is because of Alzheimer’s disease), the same advice applies to all of us, as none of us, even those who are currently young, fit and healthy, can be certain that we will not suffer an unexpected period of incapacity through accident or illness.

What is a lasting power of attorney?

A Lasting Power of Attorney ( LPA) is a document which gives one or more individuals of our own choice authority to carry out matters on our behalf after we have become incapable of managing our own affairs. There are two types of LPA –

  1. a personal welfare LPA which enables our attorney to make decisions, and to be consulted by medical staff and other professionals, on matters that affect our health and welfare. It can only be used after we have lost the mental capacity to make our own decisions. Such decisions could include where we live, what day to day care we should have and whether we should receive particular medical treatment.
  2. a property and affairs LPA which allows our attorney to manage our financial affairs and property, including operating our bank acount, paying bills and claiming benefits. In the case of both types of LPA it is possible to place conditions or restrictions on the attorney’s powers.

We at Everett Tomlin Lloyd and Pratt can help you make either or both types of LPA

Why make a lasting power of attorney

An LPA should be seen as an insurance policy against problems which may arise in the future. Planning ahead when we are of sound mind and are capable of giving instructions can save money and much anxiety for our loved ones. If illness or accident strikes when we don’t have an LPA then our family, even a wife or husband , may be unable to make, or even be consulted on, decisions necessary to ensure we receive the best care and our interests are looked after and our wishes are respected. Instead, it will be necessary for someone to apply to the Court of Protection to be appointed a “Deputy”, which is a complex, slow and expensive process and which can cause disputes between different members of the family.

Making an LPA requires careful thoughtand good professional advice. It is an important and powerful document. We all hope that it will never have to be used, but it can provide peace of mind. For a small investment in thought and advice, putting an LPA in place will ensure continuity and stability in the event of a personal catastrophe or prolonged illness .

If you’ve already made a Will, act now to make an LPA. If you haven’t already made a Will, or you made a Will a long time ago and it is now out of date, you can make your Will and LPA at the same time.

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