“He’s my husband, I know what’s best for him”
If you or someone you love should lose capacity to make decisions through accident or illness, it’s not necessarily your next of kin who can make decisions for you. In fact you may not want your next of kin to make decisions about your care or finances. Either way, if you have not indicated beforehand who you want to make these decisions for you then someone, not chosen by you, may make an application to the Court of Protection to be appointed your Deputy. This is a lengthy and costly procedure.
What is a lasting power of attorney?
A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a legal document that lets you appoint one or more people to help you make decisions or make decisions on your behalf.
This gives you more control over what happens to you and allows you to assign control to people you trust.
- There are 2 types of Lasting Powers of Attorney:
- Health and welfare
- Property and financial affairs
- You can choose to make one type or both. There’s a different process in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
Lasting power of attorney for financial decisions
A lasting power of attorney for financial decisions can be used while you have mental capacity or you can make a provision ensuring you only want it to come into force if you lose capacity.
Types of financial decisions an lasting power of attorney can cover:
- buying and selling property
- paying the mortgage
- investing money
- paying bills
- arranging repairs to property.
- You can restrict the types of decisions your attorney can make, or let them make all decisions on your behalf.
As extra layer of protection your attorney must keep and submit accounts detailing purchases made. To ensure your finances are managed correctly you can request details of what is spent and what you have. These details can be sent to your solicitor or a family member if you lose mental capacity.
LPA for health and care decisions
This covers health and care decisions and can only be used once you have lost mental capacity. An attorney can generally make decisions about things such as:
- where you should live
- your medical care
- what you should eat
- who you should have contact with
- what kind of social activities you should take part in.
- You can also give special permission for your attorney to make decisions about life-saving treatment.
Making a Will
Making a Will is the only way you can decide what happens to your money, property or possessions when you die. Even if you don’t think you have much having a Will can ensure and potential confusion or conflict is avoided and your wishes are carried out.
What if I die without a Will
There are rules and laws in place which will decide how your money, property or possessions should be allocated. Of course this may not be the way you would have wanted and it gets more complicated if you are not married or in a civil partnership.
A Will can ensure more of your money goes to your children to reduce Inheritance Tax liability. Of course circumstances change. You may separate from your partner and no longer want them to have a share of your assets. If you get married, this automatically invalidates any Will you have.
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Contact Our Friendly Team Today
For help and advice on lasting power of attorney or Wills you can talk to one of our team confidentially. You can call us on 0151 632 6699 or send us your details and we can contact you