Lasting Power of Attorney

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Losing the capacity to make decisions for yourself,  has become an increasing issue in the UK and around the world. As life expectancy has risen in recent generations, it has sadly meant that issues like age related Dementia have become a more pressing problem (See this article for some statistics about the UK http://www.alzheimersresearchuk.org/about-dementia/facts-stats/10-things-you-need-to-know-about-prevalence/)

Although often seen as a social problem, Dementia or loss of capacity raises legal issues as well. If you are not able to deal with your affairs, who can? Unfortunately family members or carers are not automatically able to help and Banks or Pension companies will only deal with the person directly.

However, it is possible to make a Lasting Power of Attorney which will continue to be valid should you lose capacity. These documents, allow you to nominate a person or group of people who are the legal authority to deal with your assets.

Once completed and registered at Court, you would be able to ask your Attorneys to do something for you. If you lost capacity, they would then be able to make decisions for you, acting in your best interests in doing so. The person appointing the Attorneys can give guidance as to how you would like them to act, or limit their powers.

There is also a second type of Lasting Power of Attorney designed to deal with issues about a person’s welfare (but not financial decisions). This would only become active if they did lose capacity.

Lasting Powers of Attorney are a very flexible way to protect your assets, and loved ones, from the problems that can arise from losing capacity. The catch is that you can only create them if you have capacity, meaning we sadly see some clients for whom it is already too late.

At Latimer Lee, our Private Client team are able to help you put in place Lasting Powers of Attorney and advise on the many issues that can arise with a loss of capacity.  Call our team on 01706 824811 to discuss your circumstances and how we can help.