Lasting power of attorney

Who would look after your affairs if you became incapable during your lifetime?

Approximately 700,000 people in the UK now suffer with dementia, and this number is rising as one new case is diagnosed every 3 minutes.

Many thousands more people are incapable of handling their own affairs due to severe physical disability or through stroke or other illnesses.

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a document which enable you to appoint people to handle your property and financial affairs and/or your health and welfare affairs should you become incapable of doing so yourself, and all of our clients are offered the opportunity to take out an LPA should they choose.

An Lasting Power of Attorney can only be made whilst you still have your mental capacity.

An Lasting Power of Attorney can only be used once it has been registered with the courts and can include restrictions of your choice, such as that it can only be used once a medical practitioner is of the opinion that you cannot handle your own affairs.

Hopefully you will never need your Lasting Power of Attorney, but it provides peace of mind and is of vital importance should the time come that you do need it.

Here are a few tips to bear in mind before making a Lasting Power of Attorney:

Be clear whether you want to appoint somebody to handle financial affairs, health and welfare affairs, or both.

Consider whether you want to appoint one person or two or more people.

If appointing two or more people consider whether you would want them to work together at all times, or whether you are happy for them to work alone if needs be.

Ask yourself whether you would want a medical restriction in your Power of Attorney, such as a condition that it can only be used once your doctor has confirmed that you lack capacity yourself.

Consider whether you would want to give somebody absolute power to act on your behalf, or whether there are any limitations you would wish to restrict them to.