Lasting Power of Attorney

Lasting Power of Attorney

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that allows you to appoint a trusted individual of your own choice (your Attorney) to handle your affairs if you cannot look after yourself through mental or physical incapacity.

Many people wrongly assume if they are married or in a civil partnership that their spouse would automatically be able to take over dealing with their bank accounts (including joint accounts) and pensions, investments etc.

Unfortunately, it is not that simple. If you lose capacity with no LPA in place, your spouse (if you have one) or another person will need to apply to the Court of Protection who will ultimately appoint a Deputy to make decisions on your behalf. This is a lengthy and expensive process. This can cause a great deal of stress at a time when your loved ones least need it.

It is important to remember that LPAs can only be set up while you have mental capacity. At Bow House Consultancy, we have had the distressing experience of having to explain this to families whose loved one has lost capacity. If you are unsure if your loved ones (particularly your parents) have put LPAs in place it is important to have the conversation with them now, difficult though it may be. Please do contact us as from personal experience, we can advise you on the best way to start the conversation with your loved ones.

We are often asked about Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPAs). LPAs replaced EPAs in October 2007. If you have an EPA it should still be valid (but will almost certainly not be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian). A review of your circumstances would now be appropriate.

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