8 September 2023 by Harry Boys

Lasting Powers of Attorney

Have you ever wondered what would happen if a loved one lost capacity?

Have you assumed you’d automatically have a right to take on responsibility for all their healthcare, medical notes, banking and even their mortgage?

Unfortunately, neither marriage nor any other personal relationship give you an automatic right to a loved one’s personal documents. Data protection laws can make it very difficult to look after your loved one in their time of need without a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).

With cases of dementia and Alzheimer’s on the rise, more and more people are using Lasting Powers of Attorney to ensure they can automatically act on their loved one’s behalf when needed.

Now is the right time to give yourself some peace of mind.

What are Lasting Powers of Attorney?

There are two types of LPA – a Property & Financial Affairs LPA and a Health & Welfare LPA.

Both are legal documents where the Donor (the person appointing others to make decisions on their behalf) appoints Attorneys (the people who can make decisions for the Donor) to act on their behalf if required.

LPAs instantly give authority to the appointed Attorneys to access financial/health information, allowing them to assist for the remainder of the Donor’s life as needed.

Without an LPA, any individual involved in a incapacitated person’s life can apply to the Court of Protection to become their Deputy.  This person may not be the most suited to the job or who the Donor would have chosen if they could.

LPAs can provide peace of mind for all involved.  They can be very useful when trying to refinance a mortgage, access joint bank accounts, or even deal with something as simple as the incapacitated person’s mobile phone contract.

A recent Lasting Power of Attorney case 

In a recent tragic case, Kate Garraway’s husband, Derek Draper, became severely ill after a yearlong battle with Covid-19. This resulted in him lacking capacity to act and being physically unable to sign documents for himself.

Unfortunately, the distress did not stop there. Due to Derek not having an LPA, Kate could not access any of his accounts, joint savings or even refinance their mortgage. This undoubtedly added further distress to an already sad and stressful situation.

Kate expressed that they had spoken about LPAs previously, jokingly stating that she wouldn’t trust him (Derek) as an attorney for her. But she could not find any record of this conversation, regrettably wishing she had acted on it whilst Derek still had capacity to sign.

How do I make a Lasting Power of Attorney?

Use Bolt Burdon to draft your LPA with confidence! Our Wealth and Estate Planning team have vast experience in this area and always strive to go above and beyond your expectations.

The team can prepare both Property and Financial Affairs LPAs and Health and Welfare LPAs.

We will deal with registering the LPAs and ensure they are active as soon as possible.

For peace of mind, please get in touch with one of the experts in our Wealth and Estate Planning team.

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