Lasting Powers of Attorney and why you might need one

What is an LPA?

Quoting from The Government Website:-

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that lets you  (“the Donor”) appoint one or more people (known as “Attorneys”) to help you make decisions or to make decisions on your behalf.

This gives you more control over what happens to you if, for example, you have an illness or an accident and are unable to make decisions at the time they need to be made (in other words, where you lack mental capacity).

Where therefore might an LPA (Property and Financial affairs) be useful?

Take one of the following scenarios as an example.

1. As more of us live longer, Alzheimer’s and Dementia become more commonplace.  Most families will probably have had some experience of an elderly family member having developed dementia or similar so they are no longer able to manage their financial affairs.  Without an LPA in place it will often be necessary to apply to the Court of Protection for the appointment of a Deputy which is both time consuming, lengthy and costly. An LPA (Property and Financial affairs) would enable the family to manage the relative’s affairs, on their behalf

2. Imagine a business being run in Shropshire by John Smith and Arthur Brown as business partners or directors in a small limited company.  And imagine circumstances in which Arthur is suddenly taken ill, has a stroke for example and does not have capacity therefore to continue as a director or business partner.  Unless Arthur has appointed an Attorney, then John may have serious problems with the continuing management of the business in terms of accessing bank accounts, signing cheques and signing documentation and financial paperwork associated for the financial running of the business. A business or commercial LPA would enable John to continue running the business for the benefit of both families.

3. Take Susan and Mary who are long-term partners. Susan travels on her own for a family reunion in Australia, where she is taken ill. Back home in the UK, Mary needs to access Susan’s bank accounts to enable her to manage Susan’s finances, assist with Susan’s historical contribution towards monthly mortgage payments or whatever. Or perhaps some sort of claim on insurance or whatever needs to be made on her partner’s behalf. And again in such circumstances, an LPA (Property and Financial affairs) would have helped Mary help manage Susan’s affairs in her partner’s absence, something that she is quite unable to do without the appropriate Power of Attorney being in place.

If having read this article you wish to learn more about the benefits or procedure in putting an LPA in place please contact Jeremy Charlton at Terry Jones Solicitors, Abbey House, Abbey Foregate, Shrewsbury SY2 6BLH telephone 01743 285830 email jeremyc@terry-jones.co.uk

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