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  • Writer's pictureThe Will Partners

Understanding the importance of Lasting Powers of Attorney

lasting power of attorney

There are alot of common misconceptions, when it comes to setting up a power of attorney. Here at The Will Partners, we aim to make this as clear as possible as to why this is an important way to protect your family……….

“I already have a Will so I do not need a Lasting Power of Attorney”

A will is a separate legal document to a Lasting Power of Attorney. Lasting Powers of Attorney give your appointed attorneys the ability to manage your property & financial affairs and health and welfare decisions during your lifetime.

A Will only “comes out of the draw” upon your death. Your named executors will deal with the administration of your estate and although they can be the same people as your attorneys, these are two very different roles.

“My Partner will deal with my affairs if I lose capacity”

Whilst it may be your wish for your Partner to take over your affairs if you are unable to, they would not have legal authority to do so, even in marriage, without a registered Lasting Power of Attorney application in place. Lasting Powers of Attorney create a sense of security and comfort in the knowledge that you have formally appointed those persons that you wish to manage your affairs.

(Without Lasting Powers of Attorney, if you did lose mental capacity, anyone could make an application to the Court of Protection to obtain a Deputyship Order to deal with your affairs. Therefore, whilst you have the mental capacity to do so, it is important that you make LPAs and appoint those who you trust to be your registered attorneys).

'You can't make Lasting Powers of Attorney if someone has dementia'

To make a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) application the Donor (the person who the LPA is for) must have the capacity to make one. The capacity of the Donor can be assessed through task specific testing. A typical question that the Doner may be asked is 'Can you give an example of what your attorneys would be able to assist you with if they were appointed?'

If the Donor does not satisfy the capacity assessment, an application can be made to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship Order. The Order will appoint a named Deputy, who will have the authority to deal with the affairs of the individual. It will be at the Courts discretion to decide how much power a Deputy has.

‘I can’t have all of my children appointed as my attorneys”

It is normal to have between 1-4 attorneys. There is also an option to have replacement attorneys, where you can name individuals who you would like to step in as your attorney, should anything happen to any of your original appointed attorneys.

You should appoint attorneys that you believe would work well together and individuals that you trust to act in your best interests.

“You have to appoint the same people in both types of Lasting Powers of Attorney”

As mentioned earlier, there are two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney- one that deals with your property & financial affairs, and one that deals with your health & welfare. You do not need to appoint the same people as your attorneys in both documents. For example, you could appoint an additional friend who has a medical background in your health and welfare LPA and not include them in your property & financial affairs LPA. Alternatively, you can have the same attorneys in both documents.

If you would like to find out more about setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney, please contact us today to see how we can help you.


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