Lasting Powers of Attorney
Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) came into effect in 2007. They replaced Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPAs), although any existing EPAs remain valid. An EPA could only deal with your property and finances whereas LPAs are in 2 parts so can deal with both property and finances and your health and welfare. LPA’s were introduced by the Mental Capacity Act 2005 to replace EPA’s. They are far more detailed as it was felt that the old EPA regime could possibly leave Donor vulnerable to unscrupulous Attorneys.
If you have an EPA you should consider making a health and welfare LPA to ensure you are covered for all situations. Without a health and welfare LPA people are often surprised to find that decisions about medical treatment, care and where you may live can be made by social services or the NHS and not the family.
At Heppenstalls we ensure that we include clauses that future proof the Donor and the LPA. We have found that issues can arise if consideration is not given to the range of investments that the Attorney or a Financial Advisor may wish to make in the future. Release of your Will and medical records needs to be considered also. In respect of the health and welfare LPA discussion needs to be had as to whether your Attorney can make medical decisions as well as welfare decisions and whether any restrictions need to be written in to the LPA to limit the Attorney’s decision making powers.
Business LPAs have also become popular over the last couple of years. You may wish to have different Attorneys for your business interests, so that should something happen to you the business can carry on in the interim period. This is particularly important if there are any bank loans or financing in the business. Heppenstalls can discuss with you your options as they will be different dependent upon whether you are a sole trader, partnership or limited company.
If you concerned about these issues, Heppenstalls can help you explore the options in a friendly and informal way. If you would like to make an appointment, or to talk to our team about this article, please contact us on 01425 610078 or 01590 689500.