A Lasting Power of Attorney can be equally as important as a Will. It enables you to nominate one or more representatives to make key decisions regarding your personal and financial affairs. In the event you lose the mental and physical capacity to make your own decisions throughout your lifetime, it’s important to know your nominated Attorney(s) will make decisions with the best interests of your estate at heart.
Furthermore, without a Lasting Power of Attorney in place, your next of kin has no immediate legal right to decide how your estate is shared. Making decisions on your behalf can become protracted and much more expensive for your loved ones.
Within your Lasting Power of Attorney, you may make legally binding instructions to your Attorney(s), as well as general wishes for them to consider when having to make future decisions. You may only arrange a Lasting Power of Attorney when you are still capable of mentally understanding the legal nature and effect of such a document, unless your next of kin applies to The Court of Protection for a Deputyship Order. We have many years of experience of dealing with Deputies, The Court of Protection and the Local Authorities, so if you need professional assistance please don’t hesitate to contact us today.
Lasting Powers of Attorney fall into two categories, both of which allow you to appoint someone or a group of people to handle your affairs when you are unable to:
- Health and Welfare
Your appointed Attorney(s) can decide what care you need, who it is delivered by and where. Ultimately, they may be called on to make decisions on life-sustaining treatment.
- Property and Financial Affairs
Your nominated Attorney(s) can take care of paying your bills, make investment decisions and manage your property on your behalf with the best interests of your state being paramount.
What are the main benefits of preparing a Lasting Power of Attorney?
- The chance to appoint your next of kin or a trusted member of family to look after your affairs if you cannot make your own decisions
- Give your Attorney(s) the chance to make the best decisions for your personal finances and/or personal welfare
- The ability to avoid the influence and interference of The Court of Protection and the Local Authorities, leaving your needs in the hands of those who know you best
- A relatively inexpensive yet practical solution to a potentially complex situation
- Lasting Power of Attorney will only be activated once it is registered with The Court of Protection at your request. You may carry on making your own decisions until you deem that the time is right for your Attorney(s) to intervene
Our approach to Lasting Powers of Attorney
Whether your personal and financial affairs are straightforward or complex, at Anglia Probate & Trusts we will arrange an initial face-to-face consultation, conducted at our offices or in your home at a time that suits you best, to listen to your circumstances and discuss the options available.
From there on we offer a transparent fixed-fee service for the preparation and registration of a Lasting Power of Attorney, giving our clients complete peace of mind that their estate will be managed by their spouse, partner or one or more of their children.
Lasting Power of Attorney FAQs
- How old do you have to be to make a Lasting Power of Attorney?
A Lasting Power of Attorney can be made by any individual over the age of 18. It’s highly recommended that individuals working in high-risk capacities (e.g. fire and police services and construction) set up a Lasting Power of Attorney in case they have an accident at work.
- Is it possible to arrange a joint Lasting Power of Attorney with my spouse or partner?
Unfortunately not. Lasting Powers of Attorney are applicable to individuals only, but you can set up your documents at the same time together to plan for the future.
- How is mental capacity determined?
In the event an individual is having issues understanding and/or making decisions a capacity assessment will be carried out. Professionals such as social workers, doctors and solicitors will often be involved to provide their own professional opinions.
- Can I cancel my Lasting Power of Attorney?
It is possible to formally revoke a Lasting Power of Attorney providing you still have the mental capacity to do so. It’s also worth noting that if your nominated Attorney is your spouse, this appointment will cease upon a divorce or marriage/civil partnership annulment.
- When is a Lasting Power of Attorney in effect?
A Lasting Power of Attorney is effective from the moment it is registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). Registration doesn’t mean an individual has immediately lost their mental capacity to make decisions, but it is ready and waiting to be activated once mental capacity is lost.
- Is it possible to object to a Lasting Power of Attorney?
You may object to a Lasting Powers of Attorney or Enduring Powers of Attorney being created for a loved one. To lodge an objection, you must apply to The Court of Protection.