Do I Need a Solicitor for Lasting Power of Attorney
Getting a Solicitor for Lasting Power of Attorney
Everyone needs a lasting power of attorney as well as a will. Therefore, it helps you appoint someone who will act as your attorney, thus looking after your affairs when you are unable. Furthermore, it is advisable to select carefully to ensure that whoever you choose can make decisions and follow your wishes.
During this process, you might end up tempted to choose to do it yourself. However, be careful with this because if you don't follow everything correctly, your lasting power of attorney can be null and void when you need it the most. It's important to seek help from a Wills and Probate Solicitors when organising your lasting power of attorney.
Understanding a Lasting Power of Attorney
Wills are in place to ensure that your wishes get carried out after your death. However, lasting power of attorney (LPA) helps protect your interests during your lifetime. That's because there may come a time when you are unable to decide on your health, finances, and wellbeing due to illnesses or accidents.
Having an LPA can help you maintain control over how your wellbeing decisions are made. If you need an LPA, you will need to choose between two types:
• Property and financial affairs – Your attorney will have the power of managing your bank accounts, buying and/or selling property, paying bills, and dealing with pensions and benefits.
• Health and welfare – Your attorney can decide on matters like refusing or giving consent to life-sustaining treatments, daily routine, accommodation, and medical care.
Preparing a lasting power of attorney is best done when you have the right mental capacity. You have to understand that this doesn't transfer to your family automatically in case you are sick or get into an accident. At times, it's too late, and your family will have to make an application to the court.
The application enables them to manage your affairs on your behalf. However, the process is time-consuming and expensive. In most cases, you might not think about this while you are still healthy. However, if you become ill or get into an accident, it can end up being too late to make an LPA.
Making a Lasting Power of Attorney
When making a lasting power of attorney, you ought to choose one or more persons or attorneys. The persons you consider ought to be over 18 years of age and have a mental capacity to make your decisions and theirs. They also ought to be trustworthy and willing to act for you.
A bankrupt person can't become your financial attorney. Secondly, you ought to fill in the correct form. This is something you can do with a printed document or online. You need to decide whether you need to appoint substitutes and stipulate the circumstances.
Furthermore, you need to indicate whether you want the attorneys to act together or independently. It's advisable to read through the documents carefully and sign the form with two witnesses. Note that your attorney shouldn't be part of your witnesses.
You will also need a certificate provider. That's a person who confirms your capacity to make an LPA. Your solicitor can sign this section as long as they are helping you professionally. If not, you will need a close personal friend or a medical professional to testify to your capacity in court.
More so, your attorneys must sign the LPA before your witnesses. Following these steps in chronological order ensures that your LPA won't end up invalid. Next, register these forms with the Office of the Public Guardian. It's only after registration that your attorneys will act on your behalf.
Reasons for Using a Solicitor when Making an LPA
There are different type of power of attorneys available to choose from. In most cases, making an LPA might seem straightforward. However, there are lots of traps if you are unwary. Making a mistake during your application for registration can make the LPA null and void. Below are some reasons why you will need a solicitor during this process.
A solicitor will help advise you on the different people you should appoint as your attorneys. He or she will also ensure that the people you appoint understand their duties and are able and willing to act on your behalf. The solicitor will also explain to your attorneys their responsibilities.
The solicitor also plays a vital role in helping you nominate attorney replacements. This is always crucial, especially when your original attorneys can't act on your behalf. Therefore, the solicitor will ensure that all your wishes are drafted in a manner that caters to all eventualities.
Furthermore, you will need a solicitor to help your attorneys understand how they ought to make decisions. This will entail not only your decisions but also their own. If you've chosen more than one attorney, they should understand how they will work together to make these decisions.
The solicitor will also shed more light on whether you might need a separate lasting power of attorney for your business interests. This helps ensure that no matter the circumstances, all your interests are protected. Furthermore, they can help the attorneys know how the LPA covers the assets.