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When to appoint a Power of Attorney

When to appoint a Power of Attorney

With regard to making Powers of Attorney, this is best done as soon as possible.  If you have not appointed an Attorney and you become unable to look after your affairs through; illness, an accident or old age, then your loved ones will have no legal right to look after you in the way you would like, even if you have informally expressed your wishes without having to make a complex and costly application to the Court of Protection.

Lasting Power of Attorney

There are different types of Power of Attorney, however, the most common is a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).  This is a legal document appointing someone else to act on your behalf if you become ill or lack mental capacity.  In order to make an LPA you must be capable of making decisions for yourself; you must have mental capacity

This is why it is important to complete the LPA document as soon as possible, to be sure your future care and affairs are decided by you. 

There are two types of LPA: Health and Welfare and Financial.

The LPA for health and welfare can give the appointed person the authority to decide what type of care you are to receive or what type of accommodation is appropriate for you if you are no longer able to make these decisions for yourself because you lack mental capacity instead of potentially leaving these decisions to Social Services.  They could also give or withhold consent for medical treatment depending upon the instructions given in the LPA.   

The financial LPA gives wide powers over all aspects of your finances.  This can include; opening and closing bank accounts, selling property, managing savings or investments, managing or winding down a business. 

Appointing an Attorney

It is important that you choose someone that you trust to be appointed as Attorney, as they have a great deal of power and responsibility.  However, they must always act in your best interest, and can only do the things that you have authorised them to do.  It is useful to appoint someone who is good at financial management and keeping complete records.

Completing an LPA will give you confidence that in the unfortunate event that you lose mental capacity, you will have had a say in; how you are cared for, where you are to live and what medical treatment you do/do not receive.  In addition, your finances will be managed by someone you have carefully chosen and trust to act in your best interest.  Without an LPA in place then, in the event you lose metal capacity for any reason, these decisions may be taken away from you and your loved ones

Lawson-West and Power of Attorneys

It is not expensive or time consuming to draw up a Power of Attorney document and it can be done in the comfort of your own home if you are unable to visit our offices. Contact Lawson-West’s Wills and Probate team today on 0116 212 1000. We can talk through the cost and the process with you. We conduct all meetings at a time and location to suit you, and have offices located in Market Harborough, Wigston and Leicester.

If you would like to find out more information about Powers of Attorney, Will Writing, tax efficiency and succession planning, we would be delighted for you to join us at an event we are hosting with Haines Watts which will be covering these matters in more depth. To reserve a place follow

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