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Power of Attorney Solicitors in Leicester

As we grow older, it’s important start thinking about the future and taking practical steps to ensure our financial and personal affairs are in order. Although all people should be allowed to make decisions about their money, welfare and care for as long as possible, it’s inevitable that for many of us, age, injury, disability or illness will eventually limit our ability to do so.

So, what happens when a person can no longer make decisions for themselves? Many people assume that their loved ones can simply step up to help. However, there are many decisions that cannot be made on your behalf without your express authorisation.

Fortunately, there are a number of ways you can prepare, and our highly skilled solicitors are on hand to help. We have a wide range of expertise across all estate planning and elderly client matters, including helping clients to make Lasting Powers of Attorney and appointing trusted people to act on their behalf if they become unable to make their own decisions in the future.

To set up an appointment with one of our Power of Attorney solicitors in Leicester, please give us a call, email legal@johnsonastills.com, or fill in our online enquiry form and a member of our team will be in touch in due course.

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

No one can predict exactly where life will take them, and unfortunately, injury or illness (such as dementia) can crop up at any moment, potentially inhibiting our ability to take care of ourselves or manage our own financial affairs.

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document which allows you to appoint 1 or more people (called Attorneys) to help you make decisions or make decisions on your behalf.

Depending on the type of LPA you make, your Attorneys can be authorised to make decisions about your finances, your care and personal welfare, or both.

There are significant benefits to creating a LPA, such as:

  • Ensuring a trusted person is suitably equipped to look after you in the future
  • Giving you peace of mind that your health and finances will be properly managed
  • Saving your loved ones considerable stress if you suddenly lose your mental capacity. For example, if you have an accident but do not have a POA in place, your family will have to make an application to the Court of Protection for authorisation to act on your behalf

Types of Lasting Power of Attorney

There are 2 types of Lasting Power of Attorney under which you can appoint trusted people to make decisions on your behalf if you lose mental capacity sometime in the future. Your Attorneys can either be appointed to act under 1 type or both types:

  • Property and Financial Affairs Power of Attorney – to authorise someone to do things like pay bills, manage bank accounts, collect your pension or benefits, and sell your property
  • Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney – to authorise someone to make decisions about your day-to-day routine, care, medical treatment, and whether to move you to a care home

We can provide simple, practical advice about how to create and register an LPA and the extent of the powers which can be afforded to your entrusted Attorneys. We can also provide advice to Attorneys on their responsibilities under an LPA and how to help someone make decisions or how to make decisions which are in their best interests.

Other types of Power of Attorney

Enduring Power of Attorney

Only Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPAs) created and signed prior to 1 October 2007 can still be used. EPAs can authorise 1 or more Attorneys to make decisions about someone’s financial affairs.

EPAs must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian, however, only when the person who created the EPA loses their mental capacity can the Attorneys make the registration application.

We can provide detailed advice on the validity of an EPA as well as helping you apply to register it and supporting and guiding you as you carry out your responsibilities as an Attorney.

Ordinary Power of Attorney

Ordinary Powers of Attorney (OPAs), also called General Powers of Attorney, can be created to temporarily authorise someone to make specific decisions about your financial affairs for you while you still have mental capacity.

For example, you may want to create an OPA if you:

  • are going into hospital for a while
  • are going abroad for a long time
  • have sustained a physical injury which limits your activity
  • are about to start a custodial sentence

An Attorney cannot use an OPA if the person who created it lacks mental capacity; you should consider making an LPA instead if you are concerned about losing your mental capacity.

OPAs generally give Attorneys very specific powers, for example, it may allow the Attorney to pay bills while someone is in hospital, but not to sell their property.

We can provide advice about whether setting up an OPA is right for you as well as drafting the document on your behalf and advising Attorneys on their role and responsibilities.

How else can you prepare for the future?

Making a Power of Attorney isn’t the only thing you can do to prepare for the future. Our versatile solicitors can also help you:

  • Make a Will – this is one of the most important things you can do to ensure your loved ones are provided for after you die. Ensure that your final wishes are respected, appoint guardians for your children, minimise your liability for Inheritance Tax, and so much more
  • Create an Advance Decision/Living Will – this is a legally binding document which sets out your wishes to refuse medical treatment (including lifesaving treatment) in the event you lack the mental capacity to do so yourself when needed. Without this document, your loved ones will likely be forced to make the difficult decision on your behalf. Save them any unnecessary distress by leaving clear, unambiguous instructions

Why choose our Power of Attorney solicitors in Leicester?

We are a friendly and approachable firm of solicitors serving clients across Leicester and the East Midlands. Each member of our team is a specialist in their area of law, dedicated to exceeding your expectations and helping you resolve your legal issues swiftly and cost-effectively.

We have considerable expertise providing elderly client services, including drafting Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney and Estate and Inheritance Tax planning. Several of our team, including Jane Hinds and Jessica Huczmann, are members of Solicitors for the Elderly.

Jane is also a Dementia Friend with particular experience supporting people affected by the disease and their loved ones.

As a firm, we are accredited by the Law Society in Lexcel, the legal practice quality mark for firms which demonstrates a clear dedication to client care and legal practice management. This means you can trust us to handle your case, no matter how complex, professionally, competently, and cost-effectively.

We are independently regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA).

Get in touch with our Power of Attorney solicitors in Leicester

To set up an appointment with one of our Power of Attorney solicitors in Leicester, please give us a call, email legal@johnsonastills.com, or fill in our online enquiry form and a member of our team will be in touch in due course.