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Do I need a Lasting Power of Attorney…

There are many misconceptions around the significance of Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA).

Since inception, Linder Myers has assisted many families in planning for the future.

Here are 5 common misconceptions we’ve helped our clients understand.

“Do I need a Lasting Power of Attorney if my family are going to look after me?”

A family member can be an approved signatory on your bank account. This is does not give them authority to manage all of your financial affairs, and is only valid whilst you have the capacity.

Banks have a duty of care to block access to your account if they feel you no longer have the capacity to manage your finances. They will restore access if they receive a doctor’s report confirming that your capacity is not compromised.

If your capacity has been compromised, they will grant account access to your attorney or deputy when they receive a valid LPA or Deputyship order. A Deputyship order is issued by the Court if an LPA hasn’t been made; Deputyship orders take longer to process and are significantly more expensive than an LPA.

“I have a joint bank account – do I need a Lasting Power of Attorney?”

If you lose capacity, you are also deemed to have lost the ability to consent to the joint account holder to access that account on your behalf. If your bank becomes aware of your lack of capacity they will freeze all access to the joint account.

“Can I make a Lasting Power of Attorney when I become ill?”

If you have begun to lose, or have already lost capacity you are no longer able to make an LPA. Your family will have to apply to the Court to make decisions for you. This is a longer and more expensive expensive process.

How often have you intended to do something and then it gets forgotten. Unfortunately we are often approached by families who ask for help once their loved one has already started to struggle or can no longer manage. The sooner you make an LPA, the better.

“I do not have any family to appoint, can I still make a Lasting Power of Attorney?”

You can appoint any adult that you trust to be your attorney. If you have no family or close friends to appoint you could consider appointing a professional of your choosing.

If you do not make an LPA and later lose capacity, the Court will appoint someone for you. This could be someone that you do not want to know about your financial/personal affairs.

Putting a Lasting Power of Attorney in place allows you to choose who deals with your financial and/or health decisions.

In the absence of a Lasting Power of Attorney a local authority, a Court appointed Solicitor or Social Services could/would be appointed.

“I have written a Will, do I still need a Lasting Power of Attorney”

Your Will stipulates who inherits your estate after your death. An LPA deals with decisions about your financial and/or health during your life.

Therefore, in order to fully plan for you and your family‘s future it is important to complete both Lasting Powers of Attorney for use during your life and a Will, to set out who will receive your estate on your death.

Not appointing an LPA may leave your family without the ability to help you, when you and they, need it most.

If you have any additional questions on Lasting Powers of Attorney or would like to find out more, please contact Linder Myers on 0800 042 07000 or email enquiries@lindermyers.co.uk

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