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The experienced practitioner's view

Lasting Powers of Attorney

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document through which you can grant another person or persons (the attorney(s)) authority to make certain decisions on your behalf. Most importantly, it remains valid if you become mentally incapable of dealing with your affairs yourself.

Michael Overend

Michael Overend

Attorneys cannot do what they like; they must follow the principles of the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

There are two types of LPA. An LPA for property and financial affairs enables your attorney(s) to deal with your house and finances e.g. bank accounts, as you specify. An LPA for health and welfare allows your attorney(s) to make welfare and health care decisions on your behalf and could extend to giving or refusing consent to life sustaining treatment.

Anyone of us could be in an accident or face sudden and serious illness at any time and be either temporarily or permanently physically or mentally incapable of managing our affairs. LPAs should therefore be considered by anyone over the age of 18 and particularly if you are a single parent, self-employed or have business interests.

Without an LPA in place, if you were to become incapable of dealing with your affairs, it could be necessary for an application to be made to the Court of Protection for an Order appointing someone to do deal with things on your behalf (a Deputy).

At this point you would have no say over who the Court appoints and the process can be both lengthy and costly. The practical effect of this could leave you and your relatives without access to your money or financial information which could be required to pay for care fees or to keep you in your home.

An LPA puts you in control by allowing you to choose your attorneys and provide guidance or include restrictions or conditions in relation to how the attorneys should act. Care should be taken however so as to ensure that specific restrictions and directions do not render the LPAs unworkable in practice.

For further information contact Michael Overend on, or 01635 521212


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Michael Overend

April 27th, 2015 at 3:44 pm