LPAs enable you to make provision for who you would like to deal with your affairs if you should become unable to do so during your lifetime. Whilst most people think this will only apply in old age, this can occur at any point, be it through illness, an accident as well as age related illnesses such as dementia.
What happens if there is no LPA?
Your family will not be able to access accounts held in your name without having the legal authority to do so. Without having an LPA in place, your family may struggle with basic needs because they are not able to withdraw funds from bank accounts. Making a LPA now can make your family’s life easier in the future, should you no longer be able to deal with your affairs in the future due to physical or mental incapacity.
What are LPAs?
There are two types of LPA:
i) Property and Financial Affairs: this allows one or more people to make decisions on things such as buying and selling your property, dealing with your bills, and running your bank accounts.
ii) Personal Welfare LPA: this can cover decisions about healthcare, where you should live, and how you should be treated medically. Commonly referred to as a Health and Wellbeing LPA, will ensure that your wishes regarding life sustaining treatment is documented, and your Attorneys will have the authority to instruct medical staff as to whether invasive procedures to prolong your life are undertaken or not. It can also help your family to take difficult decisions with confidence that they are following your wishes.
The Court of Protection
If you do not have an LPA in place and later become mentally incapacitated, an application to the Court of Protection for someone to become your Deputy will have to be made in order to access and take control of your assets and finances.
Making an application to the Court of Protection is a more complicated, time consuming and costly route than an LPA, but should be considered where no LPA is in place for a loved one who is no longer to deal with their affairs.
Every year the Deputy also has to provide a Deputyship Report to the Court of Protection. This gives the Court information on decisions that the Deputy has made and also provides summary accounts for the Court to approve.
Emma Fuller is head of the private client team at EHL; our solicitors in Loughborough are experts in their fields and dedicated to quality client care. If you would like to find out more about our solicitors in Loughborough please contact us.
Please contact us for more information on LPAs or the Court of Protection on firstname.lastname@example.orgTalk to our legal team
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