A Lasting Power of Attorney is a formal document which grants power from one person to another to manage their affairs. A Lasting Power of Attorney is often used by family members for their relatives when their relatives are unable to look after themselves properly for any reason. This can be due to ill health; age or even a serious accident.
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney; those that deal with financial affairs and property and those that deal with healthcare matters. The two are nearly always completed together.
In using the forms the “Donor” of the power grants to one or more attorneys to stand in their shoes when they are unable to make decisions. This can be trivial things such as someone looking after someone else’s utility bills all the way up to making business decisions or selling and managing property.
The healthcare lasting power of attorney can also sometimes include a decision to withdraw life saving treatment from someone.
The nature of an LPA means that they are most used by children looking after their parents or spouses looking after their partner, but not always. We always advise that couples have in place lasting powers of attorneys no matter what age, as sometimes in extreme circumstances they are required. If, for example, one person suffers a serious accident and are unable to function normally after that point, the power of attorney will come into great use.
If a person is unable to grant a power of attorney, for example because they are unable to understand the nature and quality of their act or their health is too poor, or of course they are unconscious, a similar process called Deputyship is used. This process is more expensive that preparing lasting powers of attorney and is a much heavier burden which can include annual financial returns to the Court of Protection.
Speak to John Thorpe on 01323 407555 or contact us to find out more about Lasting Powers of Attorney or to arrange a no obligation consultation with one of our experienced solicitors across East Sussex in Eastbourne, Brighton or Uckfield or at our London office in Notting Hill.