Lasting Power of Attorney

Lasting Power of Attorney

Looking after someone’s finances if they become incapacitated can be a difficult and protracted process.

It could make things very difficult for a spouse, partner or family. Bills could go unpaid and if cash is needed for any purpose, it could be inaccessible.

Setting up an LPA with IFS Legal Services Ltd would allow someone that you trust to act on your behalf should the need arise. Your chosen person, known as your Attorney, can then manage your affairs in your best interests. This could be in the long term or until such time that you recover and are able to take control again yourself.

There are two types of LPA, both of which IFS Legal Services Ltd can help you with:

A Property and Affairs LPA

This allows your Attorney to:

  • Manage your finances
  • Maintain your property
  • Make sure your bills are paid
  • Make decisions about your assets

A Health and Welfare LPA

This allows your Attorney to:

  • Make decisions about your medical treatment
  • Decide whether it’s best for you to continue to live at home or whether residential care would be more appropriate
  • Ensure that your quality of life is maintained as you would want.

If you don’t have an LPA then the process to gain access and control can be an expensive process and can take up to 12 months. Who would pay your bills and look after your family in the meantime?

Setting up an LPA with IFS Legal Services Ltd is straight forward and simple. It involves a free, no obligation consultation with your Personal Estate Planner.

Common Misconceptions About LPA’s

We don’t need it, my bank will talk to you if needs be.

Essentially, if I need to access your cash and there is no LPA in place, I would have to go to court in order to gain access, which can be time consuming and expensive. Added to that, while the court order is being set up, it is possible that a stranger will be making the heath and financial decisions for you.

I’m fine, I don’t need one. I’m not going to lose capacity anytime soon!

There are many conditions that have an instant effect (e.g. stroke) and it is at that moment that the LPA is needed. It will be distressing and costly for me to deal with the situation if it arises and no Power of Attorney exists.

I only need to organise one when I start losing capacity.

No, that is the worst time to consider getting an LPA – you must be able to understand and sign the document yourself, else it won’t be considered valid.

I have a will so that takes care of things.

A Will takes effect on death, an LPA takes effect in your lifetime and ceases upon death.

You can assist with my affairs without both types of LPA.

There are two types of LPA’s – one for making health decisions and one for making financial decisions; having just one of them is not suffice to enable me to make all decisions for you. It is important to get both.

Once it is signed, you can just take over.

No, that is not the case.A health and welfare LPA does not come into force until such time that you lose the capacity to make decisions for yourself. Until then, you have complete control of decisions, as you did before.

The bank won’t need the LPA, they will just let you deal with things for me.

This is incorrect, I need to have permission to access your account. Without this, the bank will not speak to me.

My EPA it covers both money and health.

An EPA only covers decisions about your property and financial affairs – without an LPA, I won’t be able to make decisions about your health and welfare.

I will lose control of my finances.

An LPA only comes into play if/when you lose capacity. Until then, you will be in complete control.

I won’t have a choice of which care home I will be placed in.

Attorneys and Deputies cannot do whatever they like. They must follow the principles of the Mental capacity Act 2005 and act in your best interest in making decisions at all times. They must take into account all relevant circumstances, which includes (if appropriate): consulting you and other people who are interested in your welfare. You can add additional guidance into the document outlining preferred Nursing homes etc.

I don’t need a Lasting Power of Attorney as I am perfectly healthy… it’s an unnecessary expense.

The emotional stress, time and money that can be drained if something went wrong without an LPA makes taking the risk unadvisable!

Your father/mother can make the financial decisions until I die.

Not true – even for joint accounts. Banks won’t allow mum/dad to make financial decisions without the necessary permission.

I have no money, so I don’t need a Lasting Power of Attorney

Pensions/benefits will also be affected. If no LPA is in place and the Department for Work and Pensions (and similar companies) won’t speak to me. This can cause difficulties, especially if there is a change in circumstances and your pensions, benefits etc. need to be re-assessed.

My signatory on my sole bank account can make my financial decisions, so I don’t need an LPA.

Only having a signatory won’t allow them/me to sell your house if required, or open and close accounts, speak to DWP, Pension Service, utility companies etc.

You already deal with my finances and are a signatory on the account.

This is not sufficient should you lose capacity. The bank need assurance that I have the right to make decisions on your behalf. They will reject my requests. And if I need to sell the property, I will not be able to without an LPA in place.

I don’t need it as the hospital will help me make the right decision.

If there is a decision to be made, no-one has delegated authority. Doctors will make decisions on your behalf. However, should you have wishes that you want carried out, I won’t be able to interfere. Unless I go to court, which is far more expensive, stressful and time consuming.

My husband/wife can continue to administer our bank account and my affairs

If the Bank or Building Society discovers that you (one of the joint account holders) no longer has your mental capacity, the joint account can be frozen and the account will not be re-opened until the Bank/Building Society have had sight of the account holders Power of Attorney or Court of Protection Order. This is done to protect the vulnerable person.

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