Lasting Power of Attorney: What is it and do I need one?

The number of individuals choosing to hand over control of their assets and affairs to a trusted attorney using a lasting power of attorney (LPA) has substantially risen in recent years. The Office for National Statistics revealed that between 2015 and 2016 more than 700,000 people registered for an LPA and recent figures report than there were more than 16,000 LPA registrations in the September 2018 alone. But why the dramatic increase?

Accidents and illnesses can happen at any time in our lives and it is important that we all have a comprehensive plan in place if anything were to happen. Contrary to popular belief, an LPA isn’t just for the older generation, anyone over the age of 18 can register for an LPA.

In a time of crisis, the attorney you have appointed will make decisions regarding your finances, healthcare and living arrangements if you do not have the ability to communicate your wishes or make such decisions yourself.

There are two types of lasting power of attorneys you can choose from: an LPA for property and financial affairs or an LPA for health and welfare.

  • Lasting power of attorney for property and financial affairs – This gives your attorney the ability to manage your property, pensions, bank accounts and any other financial assets. These attorneys can help you make decisions and manage your finances prior to any life-changing or life-threatening injuries, accidents or illnesses as well as being able to control and manage your assets once you lose the ability to do so yourself.
  • Lasting power of attorney for health and welfare – This gives your attorney the ability to make decisions regarding your health and welfare should you be unfit to do so yourself.

There are many reasons as to why you should have a lasting power of attorney, one being that unlike an ordinary power of attorney, a lasting power of attorney cannot be revoked due to mental incapacity.

Furthermore, you can have complete peace of mind when it comes to your finances and life savings. A court order must be obtained and a judge must approve any large sums of money being spent in your name, ensuring that your attorney spends your money in an honest and sensible way. The fundamental overriding reason for having a lasting power of attorney is simply peace of mind. Your attorney will have your best interests at heart and this gives you the ability to handover control with ease, knowing that the decisions made on your behalf are for the best.

You never know what’s around the corner and registering a lasting power of attorney is the best way to prepare for whatever the future may hold. Rather than a dishonest family member being granted access by the court, with an LPA you can be sure that your financial assets and decisions regarding your health are in the trusted hands of your chosen relatives or friends.

Use Rocket Lawyer’s Lasting Power of Attorney service from £299+VAT today and create your lasting power of attorney.

Fletcher Day