Q. Why do I need a Lasting Power of Attorney … surely my wife or children can deal with my property and financial affairs if I am no longer able to?
You may be surprised to learn that your family are not automatically entitled to take over the management of your financial affairs.
If you lose mental capacity, because you suffer a stroke, a serious accident or have dementia for example, then you will need someone else to stand in your shoes and act on your behalf.
The only way you can be certain who manages your property and financial affairs is to make a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) and appoint the person of your choice (known as an attorney).
Your attorney will deal with day to day matters like sorting your post, paying your bills, managing you bank accounts, dealing with utility companies, liaising with the local authority, making and managing investments on your behalf as well as the more serious matters of buying, maintaining and selling your property and managing any business interests you may have.
You must choose an attorney carefully. Your attorney should be someone you trust, who is organized, good with money and willing to help of course. Your attorney could be a member of your family, or perhaps a close friend. Ideally choose someone younger than yourself. Alternatively you can appoint your solicitor as a professional attorney. It is also advisable to appoint more than one attorney so they can support and monitor each other, and avoid the problem of a sole attorney being unable to act when the time comes.
Your attorney can only act with your consent, or if your GP confirms you no longer have mental capacity.
Crucially you can only make (or indeed cancel) an LPA while you have mental capacity. If you do not have a valid LPA when you need it, someone would have to apply to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship Order requesting permission to manage your property and finances. This can be an expensive, intrusive and stressful process.
Our professional fee for advising you, preparing and registering your LPA is from £300 plus VAT (The court’s fee is £82 per application). We are of course happy to visit you at home if necessary.
*You can also make a Lasting Power of attorney for your Health and Welfare, this is a separate application, please contact us for advice.
A law firm that has been offering expert legal help and advice to individuals and businesses in and around Christchurch and New Milton for more than forty years.