A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document which formally appoints an attorney of your choosing, to make certain decisions when you are no longer able to. If you have a physical or mental impairment that impacts your ability to make certain decisions, your attorney can step into your shoes and make these decisions for you in your best interests.
There is an assumption that your loved ones will have an automatic right to access your bank accounts or make medical decision on your behalf because they are your ‘next of kin’.
This is in fact incorrect and common misconception. Next of kin has no real legal definition and often only refers to your emergency contact.
You may think that you are healthy and well and do not need a Lasting Power of Attorney, but this can often cause difficulty for your loved ones if you did suddenly fall unwell.
If you lose mental capacity before setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney, a long, drawn out and expensive application will be needed to the Court of Protection for deputyship.
The Lasting Power of Attorney remains in place for your lifetime covering all temporary and permanent periods of illness and so you do not need to make a Lasting Power of Attorney for every period of illness.
Your attorney will make decisions on your behalf when you are not able to and should you recover from illness, you will start making your own decisions again.
If you would like further information and advice on setting up a LPA, please contact our experienced team on 01329 822 333.