The lasting power of peace of mind
More people are setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney, not just those in later life
The growing use of LPAs isn't surprising given the ageing population, but it is a mistake to think that they are just for the elderly or those in failing health. Accident or illness can occur at any time of life.
In England and Wales there are two types of LPA: one covering health and welfare, the other for property and financial affairs. You can set up either or both types, but for LPAs to be legally valid they must be signed, witnessed and registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. In Scotland, Powers of Attorney are slightly different.
When you choose an ‘attorney’ you can pick a spouse, partner, relative or friend, or even a professional such as a local solicitor, although remember that they are likely to charge for this service. An attorney must be over 18 and mentally capable of making decisions for themselves. Bankrupt individuals cannot be appointed for financial LPAs.
You don’t need substantial assets to benefi t. At the simplest level, an LPA can allow your designated attorney to access your bank account and ensure that bills get paid. However, you have to give express permission, before an attorney can use the powers granted under a property and financial affairs LPA, or be deemed mentally incapable of making such decisions.
You may set up an LPA and never need it, but should your health fail it can provide peace of mind that a trusted friend or relative would look after your affairs.
The Financial Conduct Authority does not regulate will writing, trusts and some forms of estate planning.
The information in this article does not constitute advice and should be used for informational purposes only. This content has been provided to Helm Godfrey by Taxbriefs.