24th November 2016

Lasting powers of attorney: what are they?

What is a lasting power of attorney (LPA)?

An LPA is a document which allows you to nominate somebody to make decisions on your behalf if you are unable to.  There are two types of LPA:

  • Property and financial affairs
  • Health and welfare

Why do I need an LPA?

An LPA is there in case you become mentally incapable of managing your own affairs.  By having an LPA in place, you will know that the person you appointed will be able to deal with matters on your behalf without any delay. couple-on-beach-probate-colour-compressed

If you become mentally incapable and you have not appointed an attorney, it is possible for somebody to apply to the Court of Protection to become your Deputy – you will not get to choose this person and their powers may be limited.

I have an enduring power of attorney (EPA), do I need to make an LPA?

Although it is no longer possible to make a new EPA, any existing EPAs are still valid.  However, an EPA can only be used by your attorneys for your property and financial affairs; therefore it is a good idea to consider making a health and welfare LPA to run alongside your EPA.

What can my attorneys do under an LPA?

Your attorneys must act in your best interests.  Their powers include the following:

Property and financial affairs LPA:

  • To manage your accounts and investments
  • To pay bills on your behalf
  • To sell your house

Health and welfare LPA:

  • To make decisions on your medical care
  • To make decisions on your general care and wellbeing, such as moving into a care home

It is important to remember that making an LPA does not take away your freedom to make decisions whilst you are able to do so.  Making an LPA now can save a lot of stress if you become incapable of managing your own affairs in the future.

If you have any questions or would like advice on making a lasting power of attorney, please contact our teams at our Petersfield (01730 268211) and Midhurst (01730 816711) offices.

N.B. Please note that the above information is a guide only and does not constitute legal advice. We recommend seeking specialist legal advice on your own particular circumstances.