Why plan ahead with a LPA?

Are you worried about losing mental capacity?

Do you need someone you know and trust to manage your financial affairs on your behalf if you do lose capacity?

If you answered yes to any of the above questions then you should consider securing a Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs).

These are court deeds that are put in place to assist you during your lifetime in the event that you lose either mental or physical capacity.

Sadly recent statistics show that:

  • There are currently 800,000 people with dementia in the UK.
  • There are over 17,000 younger people with dementia in the UK.
  • There will be over a million people with dementia by 2021.

(Alzheimer's Society 2013)

In order to ensure that a person of your choice, who you trust, has the legal authority to deal with your affairs you should secure a LPA.

There are two types of LPA's:

The first, and most requested one is referred to as the Property & Financial Affairs LPA and it allows your chosen person(s), known as your Attorney(s), to deal with your finances such as your bank accounts, benefits and property on your behalf whilst you have capacity and when your lose that capacity.

The other LPA is known as a Health & Welfare LPA and it allows your Attorney(s) to make decisions about your personal care such as where you should live, your day to day care and medical decisions. However, this can only be used once you have lost mental capacity.

The Attorneys must act in accordance with the principles of the Mental Capacity Act (2005) and always in your best interests.

The LPAs must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before it can be used by your Attorneys. It can take three to six months to secure LPAs and this will be dependent on a number of factors such as the number of Attorneys and the time taken to obtain their signatures, giving notice to a nominated person and securing a Certificate Provider who can confirm mental capacity and ensure you are not under any undue influence or duress.

In the event you do not have LPAs and you lose capacity, your loved ones will not have the ability to access your finances or make decisions about your personal care. If that scenario arises, the only option available to them would be to make an application for a Deputyship Order which can be time consuming, expensive and would mean ongoing court involvement. It may also mean that there is a court appointed Deputy who is not of your choosing and who you may not want to access or deal with your finances.

We would strongly recommend that all our clients attend to securing LPAs whilst they have the capacity and ability to choose their own Attorney(s) and set out the extent of their powers.

If you wish to discuss matters further please arrange an appointment with one of our experienced advisors who will be happy to answer all enquiries.  Contact our team at wills@winstonsolicitors.co.uk or call us on 0113 320 5000.

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