Lasting Power of Attorney

Making a Will is one thing but what if something happens to you during your lifetime?

Most people acknowledge that it is important to organise their affairs in the event of their death, which is why so many people make a Will these days.  However, practically no one makes similar provisions to organise their affairs should they become unable to look after themselves during their lifetime – an ever increasing possibility given the advances in medical care.

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

It is a document that a person (the Donor) signs whilst they have mental capacity to make decisions for themselves, in which they can appoint Attorneys to act for them in either all or certain aspects of their property and affairs, or their health and welfare.  There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney:

1: Property and financial affairs lasting power of attorney (PFALPA)

– a document that enables you to appoint people of your choice to look after your financial affairs in the event of mental incapacity, perhaps due to old age, illness or accident.

2: Health and welfare lasting power of attorney (HWLPA)

– a document which enables you to appoint people of your choice to deal with your personal and medical affairs, rather than your financial affairs, if you are unable to manage them yourself.

Once the document is signed and completed it must be registered with the Court of Protection (CoP) through The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) to be fully enforceable.  Once registered, the powers given within the document will continue throughout the incapacity of the Donor.

When should you do a Lasting Power of Attorney?

It is important that such arrangements are made when you are fit and healthy since the Law states that such arrangements cannot be made after the event, which can leave families with all sorts of practical problems. You can choose also whether your PFALPA comes into force straight away, or only if you are mentally (and/or physically) incapable of managing your finances. An HWLPA can only be used if you have lost capacity to make decisions yourself.

What are the consequences of not having a Lasting Power of Attorney?

If someone becomes mentally incapacitated and unable to make decisions for themselves and they had not previously executed a Lasting Power of Attorney, then a Deputy will have to be appointed by the Court of Protection to make decisions on their behalf.  This process can be very costly and time consuming, costing upwards of £1800 initially with ongoing annual costs of over £500.  Furthermore, 80% of applicants are refused permission to apply potentially leaving a loved one in a very vulnerable situation.

What should you do next?

If you want to protect yourself and your loved ones by putting a Lasting Power of Attorney in place, then you should arrange for one of our consultants to visit you and to start the process of putting this very important document in place. We can also register the document for you should you wish.

More Information can be found in our FAQ section.

Contact KGN Consultants today to find out more information

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