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  • Chloë Jane Fawcett LLB (Hons), DPLP

FAQs: Lasting Power of Attorney

There are some frequently asked questions we receive on an almost daily basis regarding Lasting Powers of Attorney, also known as LPAs.

Question: Can I wait until I'm older or until I need an LPA to set one up?

Answer: To be able to create an LPA, you must have the mental capacity to do so. To wait until such a time that you need it could mean that you actually can no longer make one. Many people defer creating a Lasting Power of Attorney because they believe it is something they need to do until they are much older, however, you can lose capacity overnight and waiting may cost you and your loved ones.

Question: Do I even need an LPA, can't my next of kin just handle everything?

Answer: This is absolutely not the case. Often people believe they do not need an LPA because they have a medical next of kin. However, this term is not defined in UK law and in fact your next of kin is unable to consent to providing or withholding care. To be able to make those decisions you need an LPA.

A next of kin does not have any legal right to make decisions about your property and financial affairs. Therefore, if you become incapacitated your next of kin could not step in and act in that capacity, only an attorney or an appointed deputy could.

Question: Will I lose control of my finances?

Answer: Appointing an attorney does not mean you can no longer make decisions or access your finances yourself. You will still have control, your attorney is just there to help you out. If the donors no longer had capacity then it is likely the attorney would take full control of the finances but this would be on a necessary basis and to protect the donor ensuring their assets are looked after and financial responsibilities are cared for.

Question: Does my LPA form part of my Will?

Answer: Your Will and LPA are two completely separate documents which do completely separate things. An LPA is a living document which essentially 'dies' when the donor dies. It is used whilst the donor is alive to make decisions on their behalf. Your Will is a document which stipulates how your estate should be divided on your death.


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