Powers of attorney solicitors
We are experienced in drafting a wide range of powers of attorney for all purposes. Our solicitors can help cater for an individual losing capacity, deal with a specific transaction, or assist for business purposes.
In our experience, the power of attorney required most often is Lasting Power of Attorney. Speak to an experienced Hugh James solicitor today for the information and legal guidance you need.
What is a lasting power of attorney?
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that enables individuals (known as ‘the donor’ in this process) to appoint someone to make decisions about their welfare, money or property, either now or in the future.
LPAs are important to legislate for the possibility of mental incapacity, usually caused by serious illness or accident, preventing an individual from being able to deal with their day-to-day decisions. These include complicated financial and health decisions, and the terms are best understood with help from a power of attorney solicitor. We advise that everybody should consider making LPAs, irrespective of their age or health.
There are two different types of LPAs:
- Health and Welfare LPAs
- Property and Financial Affairs LPAs
A Health and Welfare LPA enables individuals to choose someone they trust to make decisions for them relating to their health and personal welfare, such as their living arrangements or medical treatment, in the event of them becoming mentally incapable. A Health and Welfare LPA also enables those individuals to empower their attorneys to give or refuse life-sustaining treatment on their behalf.
Such an LPA can only be used once it has been registered at the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) and the individual concerned has already become mentally incapable of making their own decisions. Consulting a Lasting Power of Attorney solicitor could simplify this process.
A Property and Financial Affairs LPA enables an individual to appoint someone to manage their property and financial affairs once they are no longer physically able or lack the mental capacity to do so.
As with the Health and Welfare LPA, a Property and Financial Affairs LPA can only be used once the form has been registered at the OPG. However, this can be used even if the individual still has mental capacity.
Who should make a Lasting Power Attorney?
In our view, everybody. Anyone can potentially become physically or mentally incapable following an illness or accident, regardless of age or circumstances.
A will only operates after death, so it is a wise precaution to appoint attorneys you trust to make important decisions on your behalf should the need arise during your lifetime.
Lots of our clients seek advice from our Lasting Power of Attorney solicitors at the same time as making their wills, giving them peace of mind that they have made plans for after their death and during their lifetime.
Who can I choose as my attorney?
In theory, anyone who is over 18 can be an attorney. In the case of an attorney appointed to a Property and Financial Affairs LPA, however, they must not be bankrupt.
It is crucial to choose someone who can be trusted implicitly when appointing your attorney or attorneys. This is often one or more family members, trusted friends or professional advisers, but if you’re unsure, it is recommended to seek advice from a power of attorney lawyer to prevent any rejections, delays or misunderstandings.
If more than one attorney is appointed, they can be appointed “jointly” and do everything together, or “jointly and severally” so they can act together or individually on all issues.
How can Hugh James’ Lasting Power of Attorney solicitors help?
While the process of creating a valid LPA might seem straightforward, rushing paperwork without prudence or professional advice could result in expensive consequences.
With tailored advice from our experienced Lasting Power of Attorney solicitors, we can help you through the process and reduce the chances of things going wrong. We can advise you on who you should choose as your attorneys, make sure that they understand their duties, and explain in detail the different ways attorneys can be authorised to make decisions.
Furthermore, our team of Lasting Power of Attorney lawyers could also help you nominate replacement attorneys or prevent the legitimacy of your Lasting Power of Attorney from being challenged or rejected, either by a medical professional or by the OPG.
Get in touch today if you have any questions or make an enquwith our power of attorney solicitors.