“Making a Lasting Power of Attorney is as important as making a Will – it can save people unnecessary trauma and expense and makes sure their own wishes are followed whatever happens. It is crucial for people of all ages”
Former Justice Minister Lord McNally, 2013
Many people find it uncomfortable talking about the possibility of them losing their ability to function themselves through either illness or accident, whether it is temporary or permanent.
However, the reality is that if this were to happen, your situation would be made far worse if you do not have provision in place for someone to be able to deal with your affairs on your behalf.
What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) allows the appointment of one or more people of your choice (attorneys) to manage your affairs. You can choose to do this just to make your life easier, or for it to be in place in case you cannot manage your own affairs.
Unless you have created an LPA while you have the capacity to do so, if your family need to manage your property, finances, or make welfare decisions for you, they may have to make an application to the Court of Protection for a deputy to be appointed.
There are three different types of LPA:
LPA Property and Financial Affairs (P&F) enables you to choose who can make financial decisions for you. If you lose the mental capacity to make decisions for yourself, your bank accounts risk being frozen until someone can be appointed to make decisions for you. With a LPA H&W your Attorneys are given the authority to act on your behalf in financial matters such as paying bills, running your bank account, selling investments or your house and claiming any state benefits.
LPA Health and Welfare (H&W) enables you to choose who should make decisions about where you should live and medical treatments. The types of decisions your attorneys can make include those relating to where you live, the type and quality of care you receive and the medicines and treatment you should or should not receive.
LPA Property and Financial Affairs (Business) - If you own a business and are suddenly unable to take care of it due to illness or accident, what would happen? If you have a personal LPA P&F, it’s likely that the attorneys you appoint in that are family members who may not have all the knowledge necessary to run your business or (in some cases) any business knowledge at all.
Appointing an attorney for business matters is like taking out another insurance policy for business continuity. It goes a long way to ensuring that the business can continue to run smoothly and that someone you trust is going to take care of it.
A business LPA doesn’t cost any more than a standard personal LPA and should be considered as part of a wider business succession plan.
If you would like any further information on any of the issues outlined above with regard to creating your Lasting Power of Attorney, call Hexagon Life Planning Services on 0800 610 1131 or firstname.lastname@example.org today to arrange your free appointment. Your local estate planning consultant will arrange a convenient time to visit you in your home and will provide you with advice tailored to your own personal circumstances.