- Allow loved ones to manage your affairs should you lose mental capacity.
- Can be used before you lose mental capacity, perhaps if you are physically disabled.
- The powers given to attorneys can be wide ranging or narrow.
The benefit of having a Property and Finance Lasting Power of Attorney in place is never truly appreciated until you need it.
The very thought of losing mental capacity is a terrifying prospect for any of us, imagine not being able to remember how to access your bank account or even where it is, this is just one example. The ramifications are extensive and scary.
You must make an LPA whilst you are still capable of making decisions for yourself. This is called having mental capacity.
Thanks to modern medical science we all hope to live long and healthy lives but of course it isn’t always that way and of course it isn’t just illness that can overtake us and disrupt our lives and the lives of our loved ones, the unexpected can happen, such as accidents, brain damage or even the side-effects of medical treatment which can severely affect our ability to cope. Contemplating the unthinkable is uncomfortable. Conversely, however, it is comforting to know that in the event that anyone of us should find ourselves in the unfortunate position of not being able to cope with our own affairs, someone we know and trust, would be prepared and equipped with a Property and Finance Lasting power of attorney to act on our behalf and in our best interests.
The person you choose to be your property and financial affairs attorney is able to make or help you (the donor) make decisions about things like:
- Money, tax and bills
- Bank and building society accounts
- Property investments
- Pensions and benefits
- The Attorney can use the donor’s money to look after the donor’s home, i.e. necessary repairs etc., and to buy anything they need to live from day to day, like food, toiletries and clothes.
- The Attorney can buy family members birthday presents & cards etc., the personal things that you’ve always done and have meant a lot to you.
- A Property and Financial Affairs Attorney can discuss decisions affecting the donor’s living arrangements, medical care etc with your health and welfare attorney, if you have one.
All the things that we do on a daily basis ourselves when we are well.
If you want to make an LPA which only deals with certain matters, you should make sure that it is drawn up carefully so that the attorney is clear about what authority they have when dealing with your affairs. A Property and Finance Lasting Power of Attorney can be used before you lose mental capacity and indeed immediately, if you so wish, or only when you lose mental capacity.
You can have as many attorneys as you wish, although it is common to appoint between one and four. Sometimes, for instance, a parent of one or more children, may wish to appoint all of them as attorneys depending on their situation. These may be appointed jointly or severally. It’s advisable not to have too many attorneys, as it can cause difficulties if lots of people are trying to act on your behalf at the same time and of course you must discuss the fact that you would like someone to act as your attorney with them before appointing them. Not everybody would be happy to take on the responsibility and some people may not have the time to devote to the task. If you decide to appoint only one attorney you can nominate a reserve.
If you’d like to learn more about these crucial powers of attorney, visit www.confidencewills.co.uk and have a no-obligation conversation with one of our experienced consultants.