Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA)
Whilst your Will addresses the important task of directing your estate after your death, Last Powers of Attorney (LPAs) provide reassurance that your financial welfare, health and care are prioritised whilst you are alive. If you are affected by declining mental capacity or suffer physical injury that leaves you unable to manage your affairs, a LPA can be relied on to promote your chosen decision maker to provide direction on these matters.
The importance of LPAs in protecting you and your wishes whilst you are alive, but incapacitated, should not be underestimated. This protects you and can also help reduce any stress on your chosen attorney(s), knowing that they can act in your best interests.
There are two types of LPAs; one that allows you to elect someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf with regards to your health, care and welfare, if you are unable to. The other LPA addresses financial decisions, giving you the peace of mind knowing that there is someone you trust acting in your best interests.
It is worth noting that LPAs are different to General Power of Attorney (GPA). A GPA will be revoked at a time of loss of mental capacity, which results in the courts needing to appoint someone to manage your affairs. Without a LPA this can be a lengthy and costly process, and the courts are empowered to appoint anyone. In these circumstances a Lasting Power of Attorney would have appointed the person you had personally chosen to reflect your views and wishes.
Having LPAs in place is an important part of your planning and their value and importance should not be underestimated. You should incorporate them as part of your overall planning. Should you not have them in place and subsequently need them, it's too late to put them in place and this can cause additional stress at what would aready be a challenging time.
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