Tell me about Lasting Powers of Attorney

14th May 2019 2:11 pm Comments Off on Tell me about Lasting Powers of Attorney

A Lasting Power of Attorney allows you to appoint one or (if you are sensible) more people – your attorneys – to make decisions for you if, at any point, you cannot make a particular decision for yourself, perhaps because you are confused, or ill, or have had an accident.

What sort of decisions?

LPAs come in two flavours. You can have one or the other, or both.

The LPA for Finance Decisions does what it says on the tin. It can cover opening and closing bank accounts, selling and changing investments, selling a house, signing contracts for you.

The LPA for Health and Care Decisions is also self-explanatory. The most important thing it does is allow someone to make a decision about your medical treatment if you cannot make it for yourself.

But everything is in our joint names

Really? ISAs and many other investments can be held only in a single name. Even for joint accounts, some banks deny one of joint holders’ full access to the money in the account and, if the house has to be sold, that needs both signatures.

Do I really need this?

Maybe not. But if you do become confused, fall ill, have a stroke or an accident, and you cannot make a decision for yourself, if you don’t have an LPA, the only way someone can manage your affairs for you is to spend thousands of pounds to become appointed as a court deputy, working under the close control of the court.

OK, but I can go online and do this myself, can’t I?

Yes you can and, if you make sure you read and understand everything there, you may create a valid LPA that does exactly what you want, and you and your attorneys may understand all the legal and practical implications of what you are getting yourselves into.

Or you may not. This really matters – so why take that chance? We have long experience of how LPAs work in practice and we can guide you and your attorneys through the minefield.

Michael Cutler has been a Solicitor for over 35 years and was admitted in 1995 to membership of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (‘STEP’), the international, cross-professional, specialist body for the most skilled and experienced in this field.

Come and talk to us.

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This post was written by Colemans Solicitors LLP

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