A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document. It allows you to appoint someone that you trust as an 'Attorney' to make decisions on your behalf when you no longer wish to, or when you lack the mental capability to do so.
A property and financial affairs LPA deals with decisions about such things as selling your house, paying your bills or collecting your benefits.
We recommend that all of our clients take out a Lasting Power of Attorney for property and affairs. These give the appointed person(s) power to manage the affairs of a person who has lost mental capacity, enabling them to sell property, buy and sell investments and to manage the estate in a tax efficient manner.
A health and welfare LPA deals with healthcare and medical decisions, such as giving or refusing consent to particular types of health care, including medical treatment decisions or whether you continue to live in your own home.
These health and welfare decisions can only be taken by somebody else when you lack the capacity to make them for yourself; for example if you are unconscious or because of the onset of a condition such as dementia.
This can be of particular interest to unmarried couples or those not in civil partnerships. If your partner is appointed to act as an Attorney, a Health and Welfare LPA will be a legally acceptable document to doctors and medical staff.
Anyone aged 18 or over (with the capacity to do so) can make a Lasting Power of Attorney appointing one or more 'Attorneys' to make decisions on their behalf. You cannot make a Lasting Power of Attorney jointly with another person, each individual must make his or her own LPA.
A Lasting Power of Attorney can only be used after it is registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.
Succession planning will always start with a Will. When writing a Will, our solicitors will look at all aspects of your estate and financial affairs to advise you appropriately. We can also discuss lifetime gifts and trust structures.
Statutory Wills are made by the Court of Protection on behalf of an individual who has lost capacity. The court's authority is derived from the Mental Capacity Act 2005. Where a person has lost capacity and they do not have a Will, or it is out of date, a statutory Will may be appropriate. Our experienced contentious probate solicitors can assist you with the application to the Court of Protection and all of the related paperwork.
A living will is where you express your wishes about how you want to be treated and cared for in certain situations. Our solicitors can provide specialist advice on living Wills, for example if you wish to refuse medical treatment in certain circumstances.
As the age of the population increases and issues surrounding capacity become more prevalent, the number of contested applications arising from Powers of Attorney increases. Our experienced contentious probate solicitors have experience in dealing with Court of Protection hearings, bringing applications or opposing them.
We've made the decision not to accept any new Will instructions into our Birmingham office until April. We will continue to provide remote services from our other office locations and our existing Birmingham clients will continue to receive high levels of service to meet their needs.
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