Lasting Powers of Attorney
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that allows you to choose who will take over your affairs if you lose capacity. Most people think about loss of capacity as being purely a result of old age. However, we can all lose capacity at any time as a result of an accident, illness or stroke.
The implications of not having LPAs are substantial costs, long delays and potential loss of control to a court appointed Deputy.
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) allows you to grant the power to make certain decisions on your behalf to someone else (known as your attorney), in the event that you lose the mental capacity to make your own decisions. There are two types of LPA, the first of which is most relevant to estate planning:
- LPA for financial and property decisions – this can take effect while you still have mental capacity (eg. if you fear the onset of dementia) or can be invoked upon the loss of mental capacity. This LPA allows your attorney to make a variety of decisions – as wide or narrow as you choose – concerning your financial affairs and property assets. It may be as simple as providing them with the authority to use your bank account to pay your bills – or as complex as selling your house.
- LPA for health and welfare decisions – this can only be used if you no longer have mental capacity and involves decisions such as medical care or whether you should be in a hospital or at home.
Free Estate Planning Guide
Learning how to protect your assets can feel like an overwhelming topic. Our free estate planning guide will help you to understand the process and how to get started.