Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is currently one of the most important documents you could ever create as it is the only way to ensure your health and assets can be managed how you would want them to be, should you lose capacity during your lifetime.
LPAs have only been in existence since 1st October 2007 when they replaced the previous version, Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA).
So, what happens if you have an EPA?
If your EPA was signed and witnessed before October 2007 it will still be valid and can still be used. It may, however, be in your best interests to replace it with an LPA. When deciding if this could benefit you, there are several differences between EPAs and LPAs that you should consider.
Firstly, an EPA only covers your Property and Financial Affairs, whereas two separate LPAs can be created – one for your Property and Finances, and another for your Health and Welfare. This makes them more flexible in how they can be used and more comprehensive in the areas they cover.
When your EPA was created, you could choose to have either one attorney who would make all decisions or multiple attorneys who would all have to act together. The problems that this created were rectified by LPAs.
An LPA allows you to have replacement attorneys whereas under an EPA, if your attorney became unable to act on your behalf, the EPA would be voided. An LPA also now allows the flexibility to choose to have decisions made jointly and severally, for example in the circumstance that not all your attorneys can be present in a particular situation.
It is also important that your attorney(s) register an EPA as soon as you, the donor, lose mental capacity. This can take several months to complete and can lead to people other than your appointed attorneys making decisions on your behalf until the registration has concluded.
With an LPA, however, we always recommend that it to be registered immediately so that it is ready for immediate use and application for your benefit, should your physical or mental capacity become impaired.
An LPA also puts extra safeguards in place to protect your interests and requires a certificate provider to confirm that you, as the donor, aren’t being pressured to implement the LPA or to make certain decisions.
If you would like to know more about how an LPA could benefit you please contact us so we can discuss your circumstances.
Redwood Financial is one of the south’s leading Investments, Pensions, Wills, Trusts & Estate Planning providers and we are dedicated to helping families to grow, protect and enjoy their wealth. With our unrivalled knowledge of Estate Planning, Lasting Powers of Attorney, Probate, Pensions, Savings & Investments, we can advise on any situation. Please call 01489 877 547 or email email@example.com.