Navigating the Course of Estate Planning

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that gives an individual or company (the attorney) authority to act and make decisions on someone’s behalf when they cannot.

Should an event happen that affects a person’s ability to make decisions for themselves, either through accident or illness, then the attorney can legally do so on their behalf. Alternatively it may simply be a case of needing an attorney to work with an individual and help with managing their affairs. There are two types of LPA;

  1. Property and Financial Affairs LPA – this deals with the management of assets, including the payment of any bills, mortgages or other financial commitments. It would also include day to day banking, managing any investments and ensuring any necessary insurance is in place.
  2. Health and Welfare LPA – this deals with personal decisions such as where the individual lives, and what medication or treatment they receive, if any.

If someone does not have an LPA in place and later loses mental capacity – whether temporarily or long-term – their close relatives will need to apply to the Court of Protection to have a deputy appointed, who can then make decisions on the individual’s behalf.

However, the Court will ultimately decide who should be appointed as deputy, and this may not be someone who would ideally have been chosen. The entire process is uncertain, time consuming and often more costly than creating an LPA – as the Court will have to be involved every time a new decision needs to be made.

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An Overview of Power of Attorneys

Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that gives an attorney the legal authority to look after someone’s affairs or make decisions on their behalf – if they are incapacitated or otherwise unable to so themselves. Conditions can be specified in the LPA, so that the attorney acts in the client’s best interest.

LPAs are often thought to only be useful and appropriate for use with the elderly – however, this is a misconception that needs to be addressed. The younger generation needs them also, especially those who participate in sports and other physical activities.

How It Works

Our specialist partners can advise on all of the legal aspects of estate planning, including will trust planning, powers of attorney, trust administration, the creation of lifetime trusts and deeds of variation, and respective post-death inheritance tax planning. These essential services form the solid foundations for all estate and succession planning, and are critical elements to leaving a lasting legacy.

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Supporting Advisers

We work with carefully selected partner organisations to provide a collaborative, multi-disciplinary approach to estate planning. To strengthen and develop the estate planning element of a business, view our other Partner Services.

Find out more about our other Partner Services