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The importance of a Lasting Power of Attorney: Who, What, Why, When and How?

11/05/2018

While an estimated 40 per cent of people reading this have made a will, fewer than one per cent will have a Lasting Power of Attorney in place.

In fact, 45 per cent of people aged over 45 don’t even know what one is! But making a LPA, a legal document that allows people to make decisions on your behalf if you can’t, is one of the most important things you can do to protect yourself and your loved ones.

Carina Kervin, an Associate with the Wills, Probate and Lifetime Planning team at Shropshire law firm FBC Manby Bowdler, explains more:

Who is it suitable for?

Anyone over the age of 18 years who wants a choice over who will make decisions on their behalf if they are unable to do so. 

What is it?

The power of attorney is a legal document that allows you (the Donor) to appoint somebody or a number of people, called attorneys to act on your behalf and make decisions for you if you become mentally incapable of making decisions for yourself.

Separate powers of attorney are available for your property and financial affairs or health and welfare decisions. You can have one or the other or both. You can also create a power of attorney to cover business decisions. 

Why should you have an LPA?

Without the power of attorney no-one will be legally appointed to make these decisions for you. If you lose capacity to make decisions then you will be in the hands of the Court of Protection for finances and social services for health decisions.  

When can you make one?

The power of attorney must be created whilst you have mental capacity to understand the document. 

In respect of property and finance it can be used by your attorney/s whilst you have capacity if you instruct them to use it or if you lose mental capacity. In respect of health and welfare it will only be used if you lack mental capacity.

How can I make one?

For more information or to make an LPA, contact Carina on 01743 284143 or c.kervin@fbcmb.co.uk

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