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Lasting Powers of Attorney are available for Individuals. There are two; one for Health and Welfare and another for Property and Finance. They are also available for business owners to protect their business affairs.
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) gives a person, or people, legal authority to make decisions on your behalf, if at some point in your life you lack mental capacity or you just don’t want to make decisions for yourself any longer. It is important therefore, that this person is someone you trust to make the best decisions for you. You must have mental capacity when you make the lasting power of attorney and you cannot be put under any pressure to do so. A professional or long standing friend needs to sign to confirm that you are mentally capable.
Your Attorney can be a spouse or partner, family member, friend or a professional, e.g. accountant or solicitor. Attorneys can act together, jointly or jointly and severally. You do not just need to pick one person and it is probably better not to do so.
A Property and Financial Attorney can make decisions on the following:
- Paying bills / mortgages
- Investing money
- Selling and buying property
- Dealing with property repairs
A Health and Welfare Attorney can make decisions on the following:
- What you should eat
- Who should you be in contact with
- Any medical care
- Where you should live – at home or in a care home
Your Attorneys do not need to make all decisions on your behalf if you still have capacity. The powers are extremely flexible and you can add preferences and instructions to your LPA to guide your Attorneys to make decisions to suit you and your needs.
If you are suddenly no longer able to run your business you need someone to step into those shoes and make the daily decisions. This can include paying employee’s wages, paying suppliers and making sure contracts are signed to allow the business to continue trading. A Property and Financial LPA specifically for your business can give you this protection.
If you do not have a Lasting Power of Attorney in place the Court of Protection will decide who will run your business for you, who will make your personal financial and health decisions for you, and it may not be the person or people that you would choose to do it, it could be a complete stranger. This process can take a long time to get in place and would incur large amounts of legal fees.
A Lasting Power of Attorney has no legal standing until it has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. Once registered the LPA must be used in accordance with any conditions stated. After it has been registered the Donor can continue to make their own decisions providing they have the mental capacity to do so. It can also be revoked if the Donor changes their mind, provided they have mental capacity to do so.
To find out how Rawlinsons can help please contact Marie Craig: firstname.lastname@example.org