If you want to plan for the possibility that one day you may not be able to manage your affairs due to age, illness or disability, you can complete what is called a Lasting Power of Attorney. This allows you to appoint people of your choosing while you are still fit and healthy; people you think are best placed to manage your affairs, if you are no longer able to.
Lasting Powers of Attorney
We recommend Lasting Powers of Attorney in case you become unable to deal with your affairs in the future due to injury, ill health or age. We believe it is sensible to plan ahead, whilst you are in good health and prepare these important documents. It then gives you the ability to nominate the people you feel will be able to manage your affairs effectively. It could be a member of your family, a close friend or a trusted adviser such as your solicitor. The most important thing is that you choose them. It also enables them to agree to this responsibility rather than it coming as a surprise.
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney – one to deal with Property and Financial Affairs and the second to manage Health and Welfare issues. It may be appropriate for you to set up both types of Lasting Power of Attorney, or just one of them. This will depend upon your circumstances and we will discuss this all with you.
Is there a good time to complete Lasting Powers of Attorney?
There is no time limit so it makes sense when making a Will or when undertaking financial plan to also consider Lasting Powers of Attorney. Then you can relax, knowing that if something happens, perhaps a bad accident or unforeseen illness, your affairs and finances can still be organised to support you and your family.
There are two other types of Power of Attorney, which may still be relevant to you, and which we can provide advice upon.
General Power of Attorney
With this you can appoint someone to look after your financial and property affairs on a temporary basis. This could be used if you were going on holiday for instance. The Authority under a General Power of Attorney can be limited to specific matters or for general purposes. It can be cancelled by you at any time and is automatically revoked if you become mentally incapable of dealing with your financial affairs.
Enduring Power of Attorney
You may already have an Enduring Power of Attorney. These have been replaced by Lasting Powers of Attorneys. However, if you already have an Enduring Power of Attorney which was completed prior to October 2007 it will still be valid. If necessary, we can help attorneys with the registration of an Enduring Power of Attorney with the Office of the Public Guardian upon the loss of the donor’s mental capacity and also give advice about acting as an Attorney under an Enduring Power or Attorney.
An Enduring Power of Attorney only gives your attorneys limited authority to make decisions in relation to your health and welfare, and does not give them any authority to make decisions relating to life sustaining treatment. Even if you have an Enduring Power of Attorney in place, you may wish to consider making a Lasting Power of Attorney for Health & Welfare as well.
Professional Attorney Programme
If you wish to appoint Whitehead Monckton as your professional attorneys for property and finances, either because your affairs are complex or you don’t have suitable family members to take on this responsibility, then we offer the Professional Attorney Programme. Through this we will ensure that we remain in touch with you and can be ready to assist you with your finances when required.
Completing your Lasting Powers of Attorney
We have completed a helpful fact sheet setting out the background to Lasting Powers of Attorney and what you need to consider. Download our LPA factsheet.
We have also produced a straightforward questionnaire to enable you to provide us with some of your details. We can then incorporate this information into our plans and thus save time for you when meeting to complete your LPA. It clearly explains the information we need at each stage. Simply click to download our LPA questionnaire, complete and return by email to enquries@Whitehead-monckton.co.uk. If it is easier you can print and return the form to us prior to, or at your first meeting with us. If you would like to speak to someone initially then simply contact us.
Whether you want to complete your details on the questionnaire or contact us directly, we will help you through the entire process in a practical and non-technical way to ensure you understand your LPAs and achieve the peace of mind you desire.
Our specialist team is recognised as one of the largest and most approachable teams in Kent and we pride ourselves on our practical no-nonsense approach to what sometimes can be a very technical area of law. Our skills are also recognised by the prestigious Society of Trust & Estate Practitioners.
Concerns over someone's ability to make their own decisions?
You may be concerned over a family member’s ability to manage their own affairs and whether they can make Lasting Powers of Attorney, in which case please contact us to discuss matters. It is important that someone intending to make a Lasting Power of Attorney has the necessary mental capacity and fully understands the effect of appointing someone as their attorney, and the authority they will have over their affairs. It is not the case that someone who has been diagnosed with dementia or is suffering from memory loss for example, will automatically be unable to make Lasting Powers of Attorney. We can help you and them through the process. Whitehead Monckton are extremely experienced in assessing capacity to make Wills and LPAs, and if necessary we can instruct medical experts to provide a formal mental capacity assessment, to ensure the validity of the documents.
If you have concerns over someone’s ability to manage their own affairs or make their own decisions, then please contact us as soon as possible.
If they do not have the mental capacity to make an LPA, then we can discuss the appointment of a deputy to manage their affairs on their behalf. Click here for more information.