“The only way to predict the future is to have power to shape the future”
Eric Hoffer (1898 – 1983)
We strongly believe in and support the process of planning ahead, well in advance of any eventuality wherever possible, especially where an individual or loved one may no longer be able to make important decisions about their finances or health and welfare. It is vital to ensure appropriate provisions are in place in case circumstances change.
Setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) can save time, money and avoid complications if somebody becomes incapable of deciding what should happen with their wealth or personal welfare.
What is an LPA?
An LPA is a legal document that allows an individual (the Donor) to appoint others (the Attorney) to make legal decisions on their behalf about personal affairs such as finances, property, health and welfare at a time in the future, should they become physically or mentally unable to do so.
Anyone aged 18 or over can make an LPA as long as they have the mental capacity to understand its meaning and the effects.
More than one Attorney can be appointed, but it is important to consider how this is done; it should be clear whether Attorneys should act jointly, in which case all Attorneys are required to sign relevant documents together. This can act as a safeguard to ensure everyone is in agreement when important decisions need to be made. A disadvantage of this approach is that if one of the Attorneys cannot act, or refuses to make a decision, then the power fails. Multiple Attorneys can also be appointed to act jointly and separately, meaning that they can act on their own or together. This offers more flexibility as it allows Attorneys to act on their own should other Attorneys be unavailable or unwilling to act in the future.
Types of LPAs
There are two different types of an LPA; Property and Financial Affairs and Health and Welfare. You can have one or both, and they are independent of each other so different Attorneys can be appointed for either.
With the rise in the ageing population and more families affected every year, planning ahead allows for greater clarity and certainty of individual wishes for others to act quickly, when most needed. An LPA is an essential planning tool for this purpose.
To ensure certainty in the future, we’d highly recommend exploring the options with your solicitor or your COURTIERS Adviser.
Sagar Dholiwar BA (Hons), APFS
Chartered Financial Planner
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