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April 15, 2024

Do I need a Lasting Power of Attorney?

claire kingham


A Lasting Power of Attorney (‘LPA’) is a legal document that lets you chose trusted people (‘attorneys’) to make financial decisions or health and welfare decisions on your behalf. 

Property and Affairs LPA

This LPA relates to financial decisions such as running your bank accounts, paying your bills, making or disposing of investments or selling your home. 

You may stipulate that this attorney can act immediately once you sign the LPA and it is registered at the Judicial Greffe.  Alternatively, you may wish the appointment to come into effect only if you can no longer understand and make decisions. 

You may also chose whether or not you wish to give your attorney authority to take certain decisions for example to sell your home. 

Health and Welfare LPA

This LPA relates to decisions such as your medical treatment, where you live, your diet, dress or daily routine.    It only comes into effect should you lose the capacity to make those decisions yourself.   

You can choose whether this attorney may make decisions about accepting or refusing life sustaining treatment. Your attorney will be bound by the terms of any direction you may have given, which can be recorded in an Advance Directive. 

How many Attorneys should I appoint?

There is no limit on the number of attorneys you may appoint, though appointing several attorneys may cause practical difficulties. 

You may appoint an attorney to replace an attorney who is unwilling or unable to continue to act as your attorney, for example because they themselves have lost capacity to make decisions, have died, or the attorney was your spouse or civil partner and you are now divorced.   

Should I appoint my attorneys to act jointly or jointly and severally?  

Attorneys who are required to act jointly must always make decisions together.  If they cannot agree the decision cannot be made. 

If a jointly appointed attorney dies then the LPA is invalid, unless replacements attorneys have been appointed.   Where replacements are appointed they take over from the remaining joint attorneys, who no longer have any say in decisions that must be made jointly.   

A joint and several appointment provides flexibility as the attorneys may make decisions on their own or together. An added advantage is that where one of the attorneys can no longer act, and a replacement has been appointed, the remaining attorneys may continue to make joint and several decisions either on their own or with the replacement.   

The execution of an LPA is therefore an important step which requires careful advice to ensure that it is tailored to your specific needs. 

For further information on Lasting Power of Attorney and/or Advance Directives, please contact our team on 01534 875875 or info@benestsyvret.com

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