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Lasting Powers of Attorney
An LPA is a legal document that is completed and then registered at the Office of the Public
Guardian. It is triggered when you are still alive and enables your nominated, trusted Attorney/ies (eg spouse, close relative or friend) to look after your affairs or make decisions on your behalf if you are ever mentally incapacitated through accident or illness.
There are 2 types of Powers of Attorney:
Health and Welfare
Property and Financial
This means there is some flexibility and you could have different people helping with different decisions.
An accident, hospitalisation, unforeseen illness, stroke, fall or dementia for example could
leave you deemed incapable of making important financial or welfare decisions in the eyes of the law so it is important that you take time while you are fit and well to make arrangements
and register a trusted person/s to step in when you need it most.
Call 0800 0622 146
Many feel that LPAs are even more important than Wills.
After all if you die then you’re gone, but if you lose your faculties through and accident, a stroke or dementia (1 in 3 people develop this), don’t assume relatives can walk into the bank and access your money – not even if it’s just to pay for your care.
You can choose for it only to come into effect when you’re no longer capable. I’ve got one and I’m 45.
Said one popular financial expert
Health & Welfare LPAs
Your Health and Welfare agreement will enable your chosen Attorney to have ultimate
control over important care decisions.
Many people don’t realise this legislation until it is too late. We have heard tragic stories of families being split up because in the absence of Health and Welfare LPAs, Social Services have taken control against close families wishes and relocated helpless elderly residents to cheaper areas for their care!
Property & Financial Affairs LPAs
Did you know that legally, if a bank account holder was to lose capacity, banks can decide to temporarily restrict the use of the account until a deputy has been appointed through the courts? This even applies to joint bank accounts and married couples - so spouses are not automatically entitled to access their partners funds, even if held in joint accounts.
How would your family cope if you had an accident or sudden illness and then they couldn’t access the primary family funds?
There is a well-publicised case of Heather Bateman who's life was made miserable by the regulations surrounding her access to her husbands accounts when he was knocked down and put into a coma.
She had bills to pay, including her children to fund through university, but she had a living nightmare having to make formal court applications for money because her husbands bank accounts were frozen without warning when the bank realised he was mentally incapacitated.
She is quoted as saying that she cried twice when her husband passed away. Firstly because of his sad loss, but secondly because she would at last be free of the trauma of continually fighting the bureaucracy for access to her husband's money.
Registering a Power of Attorney could save this administrative turmoil at such a trying time.
Self Employed & Business Owners
If you run a business, particularly if you are self employed, you should consider what would
happen if you have an accident or sudden illness and were unable to work.
With an LPA you can nominate a trusted individual to seamlessly take over your business, either to continue trading or to wind up your affairs and close bank accounts on your behalf.
Making LPAs easy for you
Although the likelihood of serious illness increases with age, you can arrange your Powers of Attorney from any age, so many consider this important protection when making their Will.
Many find the lengthy paperwork overwhelming without our help, but once we have your Will details, with a few extra questions, we can complete your LPA application for you, ready for signatures. We help and guide you every step of the way, checking the documents before submitting them for registration on your behalf.
Once registered, LPAs can last your lifetime and can be easily updated if your contact details or preferred Attorney/ies change.