Lasting Power of Attorney

What if something happens to you during your lifetime?

Most people acknowledge that it is important to organise their affairs in the event of their death, which is why so many people make a Will these days.

More and more people are making similar provisions to organise their affairs should they become unable to look after them themselves during their lifetime - an ever increasing possibility given the advances in medical care. It is important that such arrangements are made while you are fit and healthy since the law states that you cannot make provisions once you are unable to manage your affairs.

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a document in which people (called attorneys) are appointed to look after your financial and/or your personal affairs should you become unable to look after them yourself, perhaps through illness, accident or advancing years.

There are two types pf document.

A Property and Financial Affairs LPA enables attorneys to be appointed to manage money and other financial assets.

A Health and Welfare LPA enables attorneys to be appointed to manage personal and healthcare matters.

An LPA has important safeguards:

    • The document can only be used once it has been registered with the Courts and you can nominate up to five people who are notified of the registration, at which point they can object or raise any concerns if they have any.
    • You can restrict the LPA so that it can only be registered if you are unable to manage your affairs.

It’s a bit like an insurance policy – hopefully you’ll never need it – but if you do, it will be the best thing you have ever had.

Enduring Power of Attorney

Before the introduction of Lasting Powers of Attorney on 1st October 2007, a similar document called a Enduring Power of Attorney could be drafted. Existing Enduring Powers of Attorney are still valid provided that they were signed before 1st October 2007 and therefore do not need to be replaced with a Lasting Power of Attorney. 

However amendments to Enduring Powers of Attorney cannot now be made so anyone wanting to amend an Enduring Power of Attorney will need to replace it with a Lasting Power of Attorney.