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Lasting Power of Attorney: Your legal safety net

One of the most effective ways to prepare for the future is by setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) during the estate planning process.  

An LPA is not just for the elderly or those with a terminal illness – it’s a proactive legal tool that ensures your wishes are respected should you ever lose the ability to make decisions for yourself. 

In this blog, we discuss the intricacies of an LPA and how to use it to protect your loved ones during your end-of-life planning.  

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney? 

An LPA is a legal document that allows you to appoint one or more individuals, known as ‘attorneys’, to make decisions on your behalf.  

There are two main types of LPA:  

  • One that covers financial decisions like managing bank accounts, paying bills and selling property.  
  • One that covers health and welfare decisions like medical treatment and day-to-day care.  

Why do you need one? 

Without an LPA, your loved ones would have to go through a lengthy and costly court process to gain the legal authority to manage your affairs if you were somehow incapacitated.  

An LPA eliminates this hassle, providing a clear framework for decision-making and ensuring that your wishes are carried out efficiently. 

It is one of the best ways you can make your end-of-life process easier for your loved ones.  

How to set up an LPA 

Setting up an LPA is relatively straightforward but does require some thought as well as legal assistance from a solicitor.  

Firstly, you’ll need to decide who you trust to act as your attorney. This could be a family member, a close friend, or a professional adviser.  

Once you’ve made your choice, you’ll need to complete the necessary legal forms and register the LPA with the Office of the Public Guardian.  

Again, it’s advisable to seek legal advice to ensure that the document is correctly drafted and meets all legal requirements. 

Safeguards in place 

It’s natural to have concerns about handing over such significant responsibilities to someone else but many LPAs come with various safeguards to assist with this.  

For instance, you can specify certain conditions or restrictions in the document to ensure your needs are fully met and respected.  

Additionally, your chosen attorney has a legal obligation to act in your best interests and can be removed if they fail to do so. 

An LPA serves as your legal safety net, ensuring that your financial and personal affairs are in trusted hands should you lose the capacity to manage them yourself and doesn’t have to symbolise a relinquishing of control.  

It’s a crucial part of any comprehensive estate plan and offers peace of mind in uncertain times for your loved ones as well as yourself. 

The LPA process is complex, but receiving advice from an experienced solicitor can mean that your wishes are respected, and your estate is well managed. 

Our solicitors can ensure that your estate management, including your LPA, is carried out in accordance with the Law. Please get in touch to find out how we can help make this process easier.   

Rachel Blackburn

Head of Wills, Probate and Older Client Services

I joined Mander Hadley’s Wills, Probate and Older Client Services Team in 2018.I specialise in the preparation of Wills, Probate and estate administration, trusts and trust administration and Lasting Powers of Attorney. I also have experience of care fee planning and appeals of Continuing Health Care decisions.

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