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Coping with the future now… Do you need a Lasting Power of Attorney?

What are they?
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a document whereby you appoint a person or people to act upon your behalf in the event that you are unable to manage your financial property and affairs or make healthcare decisions. This article concentrates on LPAs applicable to your financial property and affairs.

Do you need one?
In the majority of cases the answer is a resounding YES.

Providing that you are over 18 and have full capacity you can make one. The advantages are:-

• You can relax and let someone else look after your financial affairs. Many people like to do this when they go into a residential or nursing home.

• You specify people to act for you should you become mentally or physically incapable of managing your financial affairs.

• Your attorney can act for you if you are overseas for any length of time.

What happens if you don't have one?
If the worst happens and you are not mentally capable of acting in respect of your finances a Deputyship Application would have to be made to the Court of Protection. The Court would control what the appointed Deputy could or could not do with your funds and require your attorney to produce annual accounts, at the expense of your estate. This process is time consuming and expensive.

Why do you need to talk to an expert?
Many applications are deemed invalid and are rejected because they have not been drawn-up by a professional.

A professional drafting of the Lasting Power of Attorney can prevent this and add value through addition of terms relating to (amongst other things) investments, gifts or charitable donations.

by Jenny Pierce
jenny.pierce@wards.uk.com
0117 9292811