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Lasting Powers of Attorney

Who will look after your affairs if you are unable to do so because of physical or mental illness?

Lasting Powers of Attorney are generally considered by or for the elderly.  However, mental or physical incapacity can strike at any age.

It is an extremely useful document in the light of unforeseen circumstances.  It is not, however, something which should be left until the last moment as the Donor must be fully capable of understanding the nature of the document they are signing. 

Who should I appoint as my Attorney?

The Attorney can be any one or more persons who may be close relatives, friends or professional advisors.  The Attorney will be required to sign the document after you.  As you are giving significant powers to your Attorney, it goes without saying that your Attorney must be entirely trustworthy!

What can my Attorney do?

This depends on the type of Lasting Power of Attorney which you are making.  There are two types of LPA:

1)                  LPA for Property and Financial Affairs; and

2)                  LPA for Health and Welfare.

If you give your Attorney general authority to act on your behalf in relation to all of your property / finances, your Attorney will be able to run your bank accounts, make decisions about selling or making investments, spend your money and even sell your property.

If you give your Attorney general authority to act on your behalf in relation to your health and welfare, your Attorney will be able to make decisions about matters relating to where you live, who visits you and the type of care you receive.

However, if you wish, you may limit their authority to specific actions.

Your Attorney is legally bound to act in your best interests in all the actions which they take on your behalf.

When can the Lasting Power of Attorney be used?

A Lasting Power of Attorney must be registered in order to be used by your Attorneys.  It can be used whilst the Donor (you) still has full mental capacity, for example during a short illness or whilst you are abroad for a period.  Alternatively your Attorneys may use it if you lose mental capacity.

Can the Lasting Power be cancelled?

You can cancel the LPA at any time before or after it is registered as long as you have the mental capacity to cancel it.

If you are interested in making a Lasting Power of Attorney, then please contact Luke Taylor at Woodford Stauffer Solicitors, Church Path House, 63A Lynchford Road, Farnborough, Hampshire, GU14 6EJ; (direct dial: 01252 550 428); (email: taylorl@woodfordstauffer.co.uk;) Or Emma Warner (direct dial: 01252 550 436) (email: warnere@woodfordstauffer.co.uk;).