It is widely acknowledged that cuts to the Ministry of Justice budget have resulted in a creaking court system. The family courts are under particular strain. Cuts to the Legal Aid budget have filled the courts with litigants in person – people...
A Property and Financial Affairs LPA is a legal document that enables you to grant authority to a person who you trust (your Attorney) authority to act on your behalf in relation to your personal property and financial affairs.
A Property and Affairs LPA covers decisions about the donor’s property and money, giving your attorney authority to allowing an attorney to make decisions about:
- buying or selling property
- bank, building society and other financial accounts
- welfare benefits or tax credits
- tax affairs
- legal proceedings.
You can give someone power of attorney to deal with all your property and financial affairs or only certain things, for example, to operate a bank account, to buy and sell property or change investments. If you want to make an LPA which only deals with certain matters, you should make sure that it is drawn up very carefully so that the attorney is very clear about what authority they have to deal with your affairs.
This is important because at any time any one of us could become either mentally or physically incapable of looking after our financial affairs. If this were to happen, it could make the everyday management of our financial affairs very difficult. You might imagine that loved ones would be able to deal with all of your finances on your behalf, but this is not usually the case.
A property and financial affairs LPA must be registered before it can be used. However, you don't have to wait until someone loses their mental capacity before using it. A property and financial affairs LPA will come into effect as soon as it is registered which means that your Attorneys can help you with your financial affairs, whilst you still have mental capacity. At this time, they must act on your direction.
Depending on your personal situation, you could decide to make:
- Only a property and financial affairs LPA
- Only a health and welfare LPA
- Both a property and financial affairs LPA and a health and welfare LPA.
You don't have to make both types of LPA at the same time.
For more information about Lasting Power of Attorneys and planning for your future, please do not hesitate to contact a member of our Private client Team.