More people are now setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)… and not just those in later life.
The growing use of LPAs is hardly surprising given our ageing population, but it is a mistake to think that they are just for the elderly or those in failing health.
An accident or sudden illness can occur at any time of life.
In England and Wales there are two types of LPA: one covering health and welfare, the other for property and financial affairs. You can set up either or both types, but for LPAs to be legally valid they must be signed, witnessed and registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. In Scotland, Powers of Attorney are slightly different.
When you choose an ‘attorney’ you can pick a spouse, partner, relative or friend, or even a professional such as a local solicitor, although remember that they are likely to charge for this service. An attorney must be over 18 and mentally capable of making decisions for themselves. Bankrupt individuals cannot be appointed for financial LPAs.
Keith Relf, Managing Director of Independent Financial Advisers, Pembroke Financial Services who specialise in Financial planning, Inheritance Tax mitigation and Estate planning comments “You don’t need substantial assets to benefit. At the simplest level, an LPA can allow your designated attorney to access your bank account and ensure that bills get paid. However, you have to give express permission before an attorney can use the powers granted under a property and financial affairs LPA or be deemed mentally incapable of making such decisions.
You may set up an LPA and never need it, but should your health fail, it can provide peace of mind that a trusted friend or relative would look after your affairs.”
Although not strictly part of the estate planning process, arranging LPAs can be valuable to your beneficiaries because they allow your affairs to be handled efficiently later on in life.
Whilst the legalities of an LPA would be drafted by your solicitor or Will Writer, we can offer power of attorney guidance to provide the framework that ensures your financial wishes are met, with the benefit of working with Pembroke’s IFAs being:
- The management of all of your financial plans and advice.
- Ensuring continuity throughout both financial and estate planning.
- Advising and ensuring that you have the right person to manage your estate.
- Providing Independent, professional advice and support through the whole process.