Many of us worry that as we grow older, we may become either too ill or too confused to handle our own affairs. If this does happen, we often turn to friends or relatives for help. Sometimes however, we need a more long- term solution than this. It is then that we should consider giving the Lasting Power of Attorney to a close friend, relative, or professional advisor.
It is a legal document, which proves to anyone concerned that you have given the rights to act on your behalf to a named person. Such powers can be limited to a specific task e.g. selling your house, or can apply to all of your affairs. The lasting power of attorney cannot be used until it is registered and the current fee is £130 for each Power of Attorney.
You can appoint an adult or a trust corporation as your attorney. You can also appoint more than one attorney for continuity. You may want to appoint your spouse and then perhaps have adult children as reserves.
Until recently, one of the difficulties with an ordinary Power of Attorney was that it was only valid while the person giving it was of full mental capacity of giving instructions. In the event that the person became unable to supervise the attorney, then the power came to an end…just when it was most needed.
Now however, you can give a Lasting Power of Attorney, that is to say a Power of Attorney, which does not come to an end because of subsequent mental capacity. You are able therefore, to give your instructions whilst you are capable of doing so, in anticipation of a time when you may not be as capable.
You don’t have to give up your control immediately and you can continue to look after your affairs as long as you want or are capable. Whilst you can choose to restrict the attorney’s powers, they usually include :
It is important to have full trust in your appointed attorney as they can obviously benefit themselves from the appointment.
If your attorney believes you are becoming mentally incapable, then they are under an obligation to use the Lasting Power of Attorney in accordance with the current rules and are answerable to a Government department called the Public Trustee Office Protection Division. The Protection Division has the means to supervise the manner in which the power of attorney is exercised.
If you are no longer mentally capable and have not appointed an attorney, your finances may be frozen until the protection division appoints a receiver. Note that the Protection Division will not help if your problem is a physical disability. An Enduring Power of Attorney solves this problem. The costs to make this application may well reach over £2000.00 so it is far better to make a lasting power of attorney Now. Call Peter Hoare for advice on 01276 415 811
Your attorneys may need to register the LPA or an existing EPA, with the Court of Protection. As ever, service is available from In House to help with this process.