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Lasting Powers of Attorney - Property and Financial Affairs

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There are 2 types of Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA); Property & Financial Affairs and Health & Welfare.  In this article, Johnson Astills will give you an introduction to the Property and Financial Affairs LPA.

The Property and Financial Affairs is used for making any decisions in relation to your money and property. It can be used for everyday finances like paying your bills and managing your bank accounts, but can also be used for larger financial transactions like the sale of your property.

When creating an LPA, you (the Donor), can choose people to make decisions on your behalf. Attorneys are the people you decide to appoint to make these decisions. You must choose at least one Attorney but it is sensible to appoint more than one. Common choices for Attorneys include your spouse, child, or a close friend.

If appointing more than one Attorney, you must decide how your Attorneys make decisions; so that is whether you want them to be able to make decisions on their own or together, or only together, or together for some decisions but on their own for other decisions.  

When creating an LPA you can also decide when your Attorneys can use the document. It can either be used as soon as registered by the Office of the Public Guardian or only once you lose capacity.

Any decisions your Attorneys make must always be in your best interests and there is  guidance for Attorneys which can be found within the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice.

You can only make an LPA when you have mental capacity so it is important to make an LPA in advance so that if you were to lose capacity, decisions regarding your finances and property would be in the hands of the people you trust.

Your LPA must be signed by the you, your Attorney(s) and a Certificate Provider. A Certificate Provider is an independent person who confirms that you understand the purpose of the LPA and that undue pressure is not a concern.

In most cases, a Solicitor at Johnson Astills is able to act as Certificate Provider. However, there are circumstances where it is prudent for a medical professional to assess whether the Donor has the capacity required to make an LPA and act as Certificate Provider if they do.

Whilst you can prepare Lasting Powers of Attorney without the help of a Solicitor, it is a legal document with many risks involved. It is therefore important that the document is prepared correctly to ensure that an application to register the document is not rejected by the OPG and that the document reflects your wishes.

If you would like assistance with preparing Lasting Powers of Attorney or have any questions relating to this article, our Wills and Probate Team at Johnson Astills would be more than happy to assist you. Please contact us at our Leicester Office or Loughborough Office on 0116 2554855 or 01509 610312.