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No-one knows what the future holds and it’s often hard to think about a time when you may need to select someone to manage your personal affairs. Nevertheless, planning ahead for such a situation can save a lot of issues later on.
At Crombie Wilkinson Solicitors, we regularly deal with Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) cases and our clients choose us to assist with the process. If, for example, you are physically or mentally incapable of taking care of your finances, you may choose to elect a family member as your attorney to process payments on your behalf. It may be that you need someone to decide where you should live or what medical treatment you should receive; your LPA will decide this too.
Naturally, you are placing a significant amount of trust in the person you choose to act as your attorney and the decision and process may take some time in order for all parties to agree moving forward.
Your chosen attorney will make decisions on:
- Your finances
- Your property
- Your personal welfare
There are 2 types of LPA:
Lasting Power of Attorney for property and affairs can be used to appoint attorneys to make a range of decisions – including the buying and selling of property, operating a bank account, dealing with tax affairs, and claiming benefits.
Lasting Power of Attorney for health and welfare might authorise the attorney(s) to make decisions about where the donor should live, consenting to or refusing medical treatment on the donor’s behalf, and day-to-day care, including diet and dress.
It is also worth knowing you can legally select more than one attorney, however, they must be appointed to act ‘together’, ’together and independently’ or ‘together in respect of some matters and together and independently in respect of others’. Ultimately, the attorney(s) you choose play a very important part in ensuring your personal well-being both now and in the future.
We also deal with client enquiries relating to requests of power of attorney for a relative who is not able to communicate with us directly. For example, this could be a poorly elderly relative with no other next of kin who has requested that you process a power of attorney application. In this case, a signature will be required by the individual who is allowing that person to make their decisions for them. The LPA must then be registered at the Office of the Public Guardian.