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Top tips for setting up an LPA

Lasting powers of attorney (LPA) can be set up in respect of personal health and welfare, or property and financial affairs, or both. In both cases, one or more attorneys can be appointed, as well as replacement attorneys.

Without an LPA set up, a Court of Protection application could be the automatic option, but this could be a lengthy and expensive process.

The number of people that opt for an LPA has increased significantly in the last few years, with recent data showing that the figure has tripled in the past five years.

To help you navigate this process, we’ve put together a list of our top tips for setting up an LPA:

 Replacement attorneys

 LPAs can be set up with a replacement attorney, and not having one at the beginning of the process can cause complications further down the line. Failing to appoint a replacement would mean that if an original attorney became bankrupt, unwell, refused to act or died, then only the remaining attorney or attorneys would be continuing to act.

 Joint or Joint and Several

 This determines how the attorneys will act as between themselves.  With a joint appointment, all the attorneys must join in all the decisions and the LPA will fail if any of the attorneys were to die or suffer an incapacity.  A joint and several appointment is more flexible in that any one of the attorneys can make a decision and the LPA would continue if one of the attorneys died or lost capacity

 Safeguards or protection

Building in safeguards and protections is essential when setting up an LPA. These can be things such as bans on the sale of property or family heirlooms, as well as restrictions on gifts and loans.

While some individuals may be reluctant to include these safeguards, they can ensure long-term protection, particularly when an LPA is set up well before it is needed, and expert advice can assist individuals in tailoring the LPA to their requirements.

Choose the attorney carefully

Many people elect to appoint their children as their attorneys, and in fairness, children will understand their parents’ preferences and so be able to make good decisions more easily, but this may not always be the best option. It’s important to consider who is good at managing money, how close they live to the individual, and whether they are suitable because of their busy lives.

There is also the potential for conflict in the appointed attorney finds themselves in financial difficulties, which must be taken into consideration. It’s important to set up an LPA correctly, which can be done with the assistance of an expert.

 For help and advice relating to LPA’s, contact our expert team today.

 

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David Webb

David Webb

Director - Head of Wills, Probate & Older Client Services
I specialise in probate and the administration of estates, trust and tax planning, preparation of Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney and Court of Protection applications.

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