Why Everyone Needs a Lasting Power of Attorney
March 6, 2024

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that allows an individual to appoint one or more people to make certain decisions on their behalf if they lose the capacity to make those decisions themselves.

To have capacity, you must be able to understand the information relevant to the decision you want to make, retain and use that information for long enough to make that decision, understand the consequences of your decision, and communicate that decision.

People who cannot do this are said to ‘lack capacity’ and therefore require someone to make decisions about certain aspects of their lives for them.

Main types of LPA

There are two main types of LPA:

  1. Property and financial affairs. This type of LPA allows one or more attorneys to make financial decisions regarding paying bills, collecting benefits or a pension, selling the donor’s home and managing bank accounts.
  2. Health and welfare. This allows a person to appoint one or more attorneys to make decisions about daily routines, such as washing, dressing and eating. A health and welfare LPA also involves decisions made regarding medical care, moving into a care home and receiving or removing life-sustaining treatment.

To make an LPA, you must complete various forms that are then sent to the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) to be registered.

The forms can be complicated and, without specialist assistance, many people make mistakes during the application process, such as signing the forms in the wrong order, mixing pages, and including unlawful requests.

A solicitor can help. At Bowsers, our experienced private client solicitors and chartered legal executives have extensive experience helping people create and register LPAs. We will ensure it is properly set up and in your best interests.

For more information, or to speak to one of our friendly team, call 01945 583194 (Wisbech) or 01354 652606 (March), or email reception@bowsers.co.uk.

Why Make an LPA

Many people mistakenly believe that LPAs are only relevant to older people. This is not the case.

Capacity can be lost for various reasons, such as through an accident, illness, or because of mental health problems, on both a short-term and permanent basis, by people of all ages.

LPAs can be made by anyone over the age of 18 who has mental capacity. Making an LPA doesn’t mean that you use it as soon as you have registered it – it only comes into effect when you need it to.

An LPA gives you and your loved ones invaluable peace of mind. Here, our specialist Lasting Powers of Attorney solicitors consider five reasons everyone should make an LPA.

  1. Safeguards your future. An LPA acts as a valuable insurance policy to protect you and your loved ones for a point in time when you need it. Accidents happen. Ensuring you have an LPA in place even when you are in good health gives you the reassurance that if you subsequently suffer an injury or illness that results in you losing capacity, you will be looked after by someone of your choosing.
  2. Flexible. As there are two types of LPA, you can choose whichever is suitable for you, your affairs, and your situation. You can decide to make either a property and financial affairs LPA, a health and welfare LPA, or both, and you can appoint different attorneys for each, depending on your preferences. By setting up an LPA in advance, you can also decide when it comes into effect. For example, you might want a property and financial affairs LPA to start straight away, or you may want it to trigger when you lack the mental faculties to make your own decisions.
  3. You retain control. By choosing your attorneys, you can appoint people you trust who will make decisions in your best interests. Without a valid LPA in place, your loved ones may have to apply to the Court of Protection to be appointed ‘deputy’ to act on your behalf, and this might not be who you want it to be.
  4. Protects you from fraud. Being unable to make financial decisions for yourself might make you a target for fraudsters. They may attempt to influence your decisions and leave you liable to exploitation.
  5. Avoids problems at a later stage. If you lose capacity and do not have a valid LPA, the people you may want to make decisions on your behalf will not automatically have control of your affairs. Your loved ones may need to make an application to the Court of Protection, which can be stressful, time-consuming, and costly. Not having an LPA can cause considerable difficulties and mean loved ones cannot access your finances, even if it is to pay for your care.

Money-saving expert and consumer champion Martin Lewis has frequently used his TV show The Martin Lewis Money Show as a platform to urge the public to make LPAs, describing them as “more important than a Will”. Read more here.

Solicitor for LPA Cambridgeshire

At Bowsers Solicitors, our private client team specialises in assisting clients with drafting, implementing and registering Lasting Powers of Attorney.

Our team takes the time to get to know you, and understand your circumstances, before drafting a bespoke LPA tailored to your needs. We can also assist in registering your LPA at the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG).

Creating your LPA is essential to ensure that the decision-making is left to your attorney should you lose the mental capacity to do so.

To speak to one of our friendly yet professional private client solicitors or chartered legal executives today, please call 01945 583194 (Wisbech) or 01354 652606 (March), or email reception@bowsers.co.uk.

Alternatively, you can fill in our contact form.

Find out more about our Lasting Powers of Attorney service by clicking here.