What Are The Advantages of a Lasting Power of Attorney?

If you could only have one legal document. Then you would probably be advised to have a lasting power of attorney (LPA).

It is a document that you may not ever need. Having one in place brings not only you, but also your loved ones peace of mind. 

It takes roughly 9 to 10 weeks for the registration to be completed. So it is advised to register it as soon as possible. Making it ready for use if the need arises, and avoiding any delays. 

What is a lasting power of attorney? 

A lasting power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to appoint one or more people to make decisions for you. Should the time come when you are not able to make these decisions for yourself.

Although they are designed to be used in the event that you lose mental capacity. They must be made whilst you have mental capacity.

This ensures that all decisions are your own and that you understand any decisions you are making. 

There are two types of lasting power of attorneys and ideally you would need both of them to be in place. 

Health and welfare

This allows your attorney(s) to make any decisions regarding your health, medical needs and daily lifestyle

  • Where you live
  • Your daily routine. Such as eating and dressing
  • Plan you social activities
  • Decide what medical care you receive
  • Plan your end of life care
  • Decide on any life sustaining treatment 

A health and welfare LPA would not come into effect until you lose mental capacity. 

Property and Finance

This allows your attorneys to handle your finances and any properties that you own.

It can be used before you lose mental capacity and gives you the option of having your attorney(s) make decisions alongside you or on your behalf.

They can

  • Access your bank accounts 
  • Pay your bills. Including your mortgage
  • Buy and sell investments 
  • Arrange for any repairs to your properties 
  • Buy and sell your properties 

What are the advantages to having a lasting power of attorney?

There are several advantages to ensuring that you have a LPA in place early. 

Decisions are your own

It is your own decision who to have as your attorney(s). You may choose one person or several.

You will be able to decide how they act. Whether they have to make decisions jointly, or whether they can act alone, known as severally.

Beforehand you will be able to have a conversation with them. Where you can set out your wishes and what you would like them to take into account when they are acting on your behalf.

It is important to choose people who you trust and who will have your best interests at heart.

Cheaper than alternative options

Should you lose mental capacity and are no longer able to handle your own affairs before you have made an LPA. Your loved ones will need to go to Court to apply to be a “deputy.” This is a lengthy and expensive endeavour.

By having an LPA in place, that is already registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG), your attorney(s) will be able to act straight away. 

Legally binding

Your power of attorney is a legally binding document.

This ensures that your wishes are carried out by the people you have selected to act on your behalf.

If someone does have an objection. They would have to raise this at the time your LPA is submitted with the OPG for approval. 

Quicker for your loved ones

You may think that. If you suddenly lost your mental capacity tomorrow. Your loved ones would immediately be able to step in and make decisions or handle your finances.

Unfortunately this isn’t the case. Having an LPA ensures that there are no delays in them being able to look after you. 

Avoids financial difficulties

Having a property and finance LPA in place will ensure that there is someone legally able to access your money, claim your benefits/pension etc and pay your bills on time.

Without this LPA. Your family would not be able to access any of this. Which could quickly lead to financial troubles. 

Peace of mind

This is probably the most important point of them all.

Not only will your loved ones have peace of mind. Knowing that if needed you will be looked after, but also you will have a sense of security. Including the knowledge that no matter what happens you have a person or several people who you have personally chosen to look after your interests. Ensuring that your wishes are carried out. 

Although your LPA must be made whilst you still have full mental capacity. You do not have to register this with the Office of Public Guardian straight away. Technically you could wait until the time it is needed.

However, it takes roughly 9 to 10 weeks for the registration to be completed. So it is advised to register it as soon as possible. Making it ready for use if the need arises, and avoiding any delays. 

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