What is a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)?
A LPA provides reassurance that your affairs can be managed in the event of you being unable to act on your own behalf. The donor is the individual appointing people to look after their affairs, in the event of physical or mental incapacity. There are effectively two Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA’s):
- LPF – Financial Decisions – This is similar to the old Enduring Powers of Attorney where individuals were appointed to look after the donor’s financial and property issues.
- LPH – Health and Care Decisions – This is where individuals can make health and wellbeing decisions on behalf of the donor. This may be in relation to long term care, consent of treatment or maybe withdrawal of treatment.
There is sometimes a misconception that Lasting Powers of Attorney are important for older individuals. But in reality, these can be important for a number of reasons. It may be that a donor is living abroad and has interests in their domiciled country which need attention from time to time.
The drawbacks of not having a Lasting Power of Attorney
- Without an LPA, a representative would be required to apply to the Office of Public Guardian (Court of protection) in order to make decisions for the prospective donor.
- Applying to the OPG can be extremely long winded. There is no reliable measure of this but complex cases have been known to be over 12 months.
- Applying to the OPG can be expensive. An application to appoint a local deputy can be up to £3,000, and then £1,000 annually thereafter.
- If no one is appointed, it can leave the individual in a state of flux whilst the family decide what, who and how to act.
- Where there is no LPA, it can cause family rifts and disputes over who should be taking responsibility.
- Without an LPA, it is more likely that errors and bad decisions are made because the individuals taking responsibility may not have sufficient knowledge or understanding of the decisions required.
CB Financial provide Lasting Powers of Attorney services as an associate of APS Legal. CB Financial can assist in all parts of your Financial Planning and incorporating our quality Estate Planning, ensures a completely joined up approach.