Why make a Lasting Power of Attorney?

News Posted: March 24, 2016

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Whilst most people are aware that they must make a Will in order to ensure their assets pass to a loved one or family member, there is an increase in the number of enquiries from clients wishing to make Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA’s), of which there are two types:

  • Property and Financial Affairs – to manage your financial affairs.
  • Health and Care – to make decisions regarding medical treatment.

With increased life expectancy and increased cases of mental incapacity in older age, we strongly recommend that our clients consider making powers of attorney as part of their later life planning.

From our experience, many people mistakenly believe that should a loved one lose mental capacity, whether due to illness or accident, they will able to access that person’s finances and make decisions regarding their medical treatment and care simply as they are “Next of Kin”. This is not necessarily the case and in many circumstances a next of kin has no status in the process.

In the absence of a registered Lasting Power of Attorney, financial organisations or those providing treatment have no obligation to deal with family members and friends, other than when it was thought to be in the best interest of the person lacking capacity.

Lasting Powers of Attorney are powerful legal documents which ensure peace of mind that your attorneys will be able to step into your shoes to ensure that you have a voice to express your wishes and views even though you may not be able to do this for yourself.

Making a Lasting Power of Attorney does not mean the person who appoints the attorneys is no longer involved or is excluded from being involved in decisions that will affect them, indeed, the attorney is required to consider any view expressed before making  a decision.

If you would like to talk about Lasting Powers of Attorney and how they may be part of your financial planning, please contact our Wills and Probate Team.


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