Edmunds & Eve - Power of Attorney Specialist for Family and Business
Power of Attorney lawyers serving Wokingham, Ascot, Windsor and much of the Home Counties.
Whether your need is family only, or you own a family business, we offer a free initial consultation, so that you can make an informed decision.
The Power of Attorney
The Power of Attorney ( PoA) is a written authorisation for a representative to act on another's behalf in private affairs, business affairs, or some other legally binding matter. It can be broken down into two types: the General Power of Attorney(GPA) and the Lasting Power of Attorney(LPA).
The GPA is effective only as long as the person who makes it ( the donor ), has mentally capacity, whereas the LPA is effective into the donor's mental incapacity.
The Lasting Power of Attorney is the one that most people refer to when they mention Power of Attorney. It usually comes into effect when the donor loses mental capacity like via a head injury in a car accident, a 'stroke', a dementia or other such ailment.
It is governed by the Mental Capacity Act ( 2005 ) and let's the donor authorise a trusted person to act for him at such a time. There are many formulae of LPA which can be made 'open', or controlled, to govern the actions of the Attorney when acting for the donor.
A vital condition of the LPA application is, that it must be made when you have full mental capacity. Therefore it is important to think about applying for one, whilst you are still fit and healthy. Perhaps along with your Will.
Why Do I Need A Lasting Power Of Attorney?
It's not something that people usually think about for a discussion topic at the drinks machine. However, statistically; 1 in 3 people born in UK this year will develop some sort of degenerative brain condition – such as a dementia, including Alzheimer’s Disease or Parkinson’s Disease. Also you have the sudden onset conditions like coma or stroke and more recently Covid-19.
In addition to the physical and emotional problems that come with this condition, there are several legal problems to consider. This is called loss of mental capacity. In such a circumstance a life is governed by the Mental Capacity Act ( 2005 ). And if there is no LPA in place at the time, the government's Court of Protection will rule your life. That is both very expensive and very impersonal. So by making a LPA, you decide how things are to run and a lot of money and family stress will be saved.
Types of Lasting Power of Attorney
There are 2 main types of LPA that should be put into place early on to ensure your wishes are followed. These are:
- Finance & Property: This covers any decisions about your finances or property. Your attorney will be responsible for helping you with your assets in line with your wishes, including your banking, insurance, investments and property matters.
- Health & Welfare: The role of the health and welfare attorney is to help you make medical or welfare decisions in relation to your medical care or welfare (for example where you live and how you are cared for) when you are unable to for yourself.
When to Make a Lasting Power of Attorney
Often the LPA is drawn up alongside the Will. The same mental awareness must exist to make them, hence, it is apropos to make them together. It can be a complex decision tree to follow, to reach an appropriate decision. Recently, the statistical age for being diagnosed with a dementia, was moved from the age 55 to 45. Yes! I too, gave it a double-take. 45! So, if you have not yet drawn up your LPA, then you are at risk of your medical or financial fate falling into the hands of the Court of Protection before you may have thought.
The Court is a highly stringent environment that controls your world. It, must decide who will represent you as your Deputy. It may not be who you would have chosen. And, in addition, the costs that it charges are many, many, times the price of an LPA. You become a number in amongst thousands. At Edmunds and Eve, we understand that your individual needs and desires are paramount, which is why we work closely with you to design your LPA to be exactly what you want.