Is it Worth Getting a Lasting Power of Attorney?

When it comes to Estate Planning, the question of whether it’s worth getting a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is one that deserves careful consideration. For many individuals in the UK, understanding the nuances of an LPA and its implications for personal and financial matters is paramount.

This article explores the subject, offering insights into the benefits and considerations of obtaining an LPA, with the goal of helping you make an informed decision that’s right for you and your loved ones.

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

Before we explore the benefits of getting an LPA, let’s clarify what it entails. A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows you (the ‘Donor’) to appoint one or more individuals (known as ‘Attorneys’) to make decisions on your behalf should you lose the capacity to do so yourself.

In the UK, there are two types of LPAs:

  • Health and Welfare LPA: This covers decisions about your healthcare and personal welfare, including medical treatment and living arrangements.
  • Property and Financial Affairs LPA: This pertains to decisions about your property and finances, such as managing bank accounts, paying bills, and selling your home.

The Importance of Getting a Lasting Power of Attorney

Understanding the significance of an LPA is crucial. Here are key points to consider:

  • Future Preparedness: An LPA ensures that if you’re unable to make decisions in the future, someone you trust is legally empowered to do so for you.
  • Peace of Mind: Knowing that your affairs will be managed according to your wishes can provide significant peace of mind to you and your family.
  • Avoiding Complications: Without an LPA, your loved ones might have to undergo a lengthy and costly process to obtain a deputyship order from the Court of Protection to make decisions on your behalf.

Benefits of Getting a Lasting Power of Attorney

The decision to obtain an LPA is not one to be taken lightly. Consider the following benefits:

  • Control: You can specify how and when your Attorneys can make decisions, giving you control over the process.
  • Flexibility: You can appoint more than one Attorney and specify different areas for each to manage, ensuring comprehensive coverage of your affairs.
  • Protection: An LPA is registered with the Office of the Public Guardian, providing a layer of protection and oversight.
  • Ease of Use: Once registered, an LPA can be used as required, without the need for further legal intervention, assuming it is a Property and Financial Affairs LPA and you have given permission for it to be used while you still have capacity.

*Note: A Health and Welfare LPA can only be used once the Donor has lost capacity.

Considerations Before Getting a Lasting Power of Attorney

While there are clear benefits, there are also considerations to bear in mind:

  • Choosing the Right Attorney(s): The decision of who to appoint as your Attorney is significant. They should be trustworthy, competent, and willing to take on the responsibility.
  • The Cost: There are costs involved in setting up an LPA, including legal fees if you seek professional assistance and a registration fee payable to the Office of the Public Guardian.
  • Time: The process of setting up and registering an LPA can take several weeks, so it’s advisable to plan ahead.

How to Get a Lasting Power of Attorney

If you’ve decided that an LPA is right for you, here are the steps to get one in place:

  • Choose Your Attorney(s): Decide who you want to appoint and discuss it with them to ensure they’re willing and able to act on your behalf.
  • Consult With a Professional: You can obtain the forms from a legal professional. Ensure all parts are completed accurately.
  • Sign and Witness: Your LPA must be signed by you, your chosen Attorney(s), and an independent witness.
  • Register the LPA: Submit your completed forms to the Office of the Public Guardian for registration. This step is mandatory before the LPA can be used.

Is it Worth Getting a Lasting Power of Attorney?

The question of whether it’s worth getting a Lasting Power of Attorney in the UK is one that carries significant weight. An LPA not only offers peace of mind but also ensures that your affairs, both personal and financial, are managed according to your wishes, even if you’re no longer able to make decisions yourself.

While there are costs and considerations to account for, the benefits of having an LPA in place are substantial. By planning ahead and making informed decisions, you can safeguard your future and the well-being of your loved ones.

Considering the complexities and the personal nature of such decisions, seeking professional advice can be invaluable. Estate Planning experts can offer tailored advice and support, ensuring that your LPA aligns with your wishes and circumstances.

In the journey of Estate Planning, getting a Lasting Power of Attorney stands out as a proactive step towards securing your future and upholding your autonomy.

Contact Us

At ELM Legal Services, we understand the importance of effective Estate Planning and are here to assist you every step of the way.

Call us now on 0117 952 0698 or simply click on Contact Us. Alternatively, if you would like to book a free initial meeting, you can visit our LPA service page.

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