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A guide to lasting powers of attorney

Getting older is an unavoidable fact of life, but many of us might feel worried or apprehensive about what the future holds. As we get older, our physical and/or mental health can deteriorate, which might mean that it’s more difficult to perform everyday tasks, or make decisions that are in our best interests. 

It can be distressing if you or a loved one is struggling to live their life as they once did, but there are measures which can help. Lasting powers of attorney can give peace of mind to you and your family and ensure that the person in question has their best interests protected. If you want to know more about lasting powers of attorney and how they can help, read on for our handy guide.

What is lasting power of attorney?

A lasting power of attorney (LPA) allows an individual to appoint someone they trust to make decisions on their behalf. An LPA can be put in place if a person’s physical or mental health is beginning to deteriorate, to ensure that they can receive the best care and to protect their assets. There are two different types of LPA; health and welfare and property and financial affairs. You can choose one or the other, or both.

Health and welfare

This gives the person appointed power of attorney the right to make decisions about things including daily routine (washing, dressing etc), medical care and whether or not to move into a care home. This type of LPA can only be used when an individual is unable to make their own decisions.

Property and financial affairs

This type of LPA covers decisions regarding money and property, such as paying bills, collecting a pension or benefits, medical costs and whether to sell a property. This can come into effect as soon as it’s registered, with the person’s permission.

How to register

You’ll need to be of sound mind to make a lasting power of attorney, so many people arrange LPA as a precaution if they feel their mental or physical health is at risk of deteriorating. The registration process can take time, so professionals recommend starting sooner rather than later. You’ll need to choose one or more people to be given lasting powers of attorney and if they accept, then they’ll need to fill in the relevant forms. 

You’ll then need to register your LPA with the Office of the Public Guardian (bear in mind this can take up to 10 weeks). Many people seek professional help from a solicitor to ensure that they understand the contents and how the LPA operates. If you’d like to register a lasting power of attorney, get professional help from the experts at Crystal Law Solicitors. We’re on hand to guide you through each step of the process and ensure you understand exactly what’s involved. For more information or to arrange an appointment, don’t hesitate to give us a call today or visit our website.