25 June 2013

Should I ... Have a Lasting Power of Attorney?

Sadly I have come across a number of situations recently where a Power of Attorney is (or would have been) a good thing to have.
A Power of Attorney enables someone (the attorney) to act on behalf of someone else who has given them that authority (the donor). The current version is called the Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). There are two types, covering finances and health, and either one or both can be in place, depending on your concerns.
The forms are quite long and there's a definite process you have to go through to affirm that the donor understands what they are doing, for example. And the LPA must be "registered" before it is used which involves the Court of Protection. Having said that it is not particularly difficult for someone willing to research it all.
I'm of the view that it is worth most older people (60+) with assets having at least the finances version ("Property and Financial Affairs") in place and signed off, perhaps even registered. The only exception might be someone whose assets are all held jointly with a spouse. Even then the fact is that one spouse is likely to be left on their own so it's as well to be prepared, perhaps with a younger family member cued up to be involved.
We can help with all this and arrange an LPA for you, whether or not you want to tie it in with any work on your finances. Get in touch.

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