Have You Got The Power?

By Paul Warren
In July 12, 2018
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Putting in place Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) is highly recommended for the majority of us. For those of you who don’t know what they are, an LPA is a document or documents, put in place to be used during your lifetime, that allow individuals of your choice to step in and manage your affairs normally when, or if, you lose the capacity to do so yourself.

To put an LPA in place you need to be able to nominate at least two people to act on your behalf should you become incapacitated. The decision about who you nominate is not to be taken lightly, as increasingly frequent reports of the consequences of a poor choice of attorney attest – investigations into the actions of attorneys have increased by 45% in 12 months, meaning that attorneys may not be sticking to the guidelines set for them. Now, while some may take advantage of their new role as an attorney, it is not always the case that they are stealing from the “donor” of the LPA or anything equally wicked. It may just be that they are taking their role too far, and the lack of guidance and abundance of “grey areas” associated with these documents can make knowing your responsibilities as an attorney all that more difficult.

There are some golden rules that may be helpful to know for both donors and attorneys of LPAs:

  • Both the donor of the LPA and the attorneys should be fully aware of their role and what it entails before the document is agreed.
  • Clear records should be kept by the attorney of any activity undertaken on behalf of a donor.
  • Make sure your attorney knows the rules specifically on “gifting” on behalf of a donor, as this has been a source of confusion and ambiguity in many cases before.

If all parties understand their role and are comfortable with what they can and cannot do, then these documents are invaluable for those who become physically or mentally incapacitated during their lifetime – and remember this may be due to an unexpected event that means it’s too late to put LPAs in place in the future or after a life-changing event occurs. These documents can be registered and sit in your drawer, hopefully never to be used, at a cost that is minimal when you consider how much The Court of Protection will charge you to manage your affairs if you don’t have them.

If you don’t have LPAs but have trusted attorneys in mind, then please get in touch and we can tell you more. Below is a link that explains the role of the attorney for those who have LPAs or are thinking about putting them in place.

https://www.gov.uk/lasting-power-attorney-duties

Redwood Financial is one of the souths leading Wills, Trusts & Estate Planning providers and we are dedicated to helping families to grow, protect and enjoy their wealth. With our unrivalled knowledge of estate administration, we can advise on any situation. Come along to one of our FREE Public Seminars on Wills, Trusts & Estate Planning. The next one is on 17th July at The Langstone Hotel, Hayling Island. Book online at Book Me A Place!: call us on 01489877 547 or Email info@redwoodfinancial.co.uk.

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