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Protect Your Future with Lasting Powers of Attorney

Protect Your Future with Lasting Powers of Attorney

Here at RDC Solicitors, we understand the importance of planning for the future and safeguarding your hard-earned assets. Life can be unpredictable, and none of us can foresee the challenges that may lie ahead. However, taking proactive steps to secure your financial interests and ensure your wishes are upheld is not only prudent but also empowering. One highly effective tool that can provide you with this peace of mind is the Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)?

A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document that appoints another person, or people, to make decisions on your behalf. You are referred to as the ‘Donor’, and the person, or people, that you appoint are referred to as your ‘Attorney’ or ‘Attorneys’.

Lasting Power of Attorneys enable you to appoint someone whom you trust to deal with your affairs if you are unable to do so in the future. There are two different types, with the first dealing with your property and financial affairs, and the second dealing with your health and welfare. If you were to lose your capacity to make decisions in the future and you do not have a Power of Attorney, a lengthy application to the Court of Protection for someone to be appointed as your deputy will be required. In order to set up a Lasting Power of Attorney you and the person, or people, that you appoint must be over 18, and you must have the mental capacity to make the decision to set it up.

Property and Financial Affairs LPA

This LPA grants your chosen attorney(s) the authority to manage your finances, properties, and assets. They can handle tasks such as paying bills, managing bank accounts, selling or buying property, and making investments on your behalf. Having a trusted individual manage your financial affairs ensures that your assets are well-taken care of and used according to your best interests.

Health and Welfare LPA

 This LPA empowers your attorneys to make decisions concerning your medical care, living arrangements, and overall well-being if you become unable to express your preferences or make informed decisions about your health. This can include choices about medical treatments, where you live, and even end-of-life decisions. Appointing someone you trust to represent your values and wishes can offer significant comfort during challenging times.

Why is a Lasting Power of Attorney Essential for Protecting your Assets?

Ensuring Continuity of Asset Management: With an LPA for Property and Financial Affairs, you can designate someone you trust to handle your financial matters when you cannot. This helps to ensure continuity in managing your assets, reducing the risk of financial mismanagement or costly delays.

Preventing Potential Family Disputes: Without a valid LPA in place, there could be disputes among family members about who should be responsible for making decisions on your behalf. By appointing an attorney in advance, you prevent potential conflicts and give your family clarity on who has legal authority.

Avoiding Court-Appointed Deputies: In the absence of an LPA, the Court of Protection may appoint deputies to manage your affairs if you lose mental capacity. This process can be time-consuming, costly, and may not align with your preferences. An LPA allows you to choose your attorney(s) proactively, ensuring that those who know you best are the ones looking after your interests.

Protection Against Financial Abuse: Unfortunately, vulnerable individuals can be at risk of financial abuse. By appointing an attorney whom you trust implicitly, you have an added layer of protection against potential exploitation or misuse of your assets.

Peace of Mind: By planning ahead and setting up an LPA, you can have peace of mind knowing that your assets and well-being are safeguarded, and your wishes will be respected even if you are unable to express them yourself.

How to Set up a Lasting Power of Attorney

To ensure that your LPA is valid and tailored to your specific needs, it is crucial to seek advice from a qualified solicitor. They will guide you through the process, explain your options, and draft the document according to your wishes and requirements. To make it legally effective, you must register your LPA with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). It is important to note that the registration process can take several weeks, so it is advisable to set up the LPA well in advance.

At RDC we believe that it is never too early to plan for the future. Our team of solicitors understands how difficult it can be to contemplate and make decisions about your own and your family’s future; we’re here to help guide you through the options.

If you or someone you know feels you may need a Lasting Power of Attorney, our Wills & Probate team have extensive experience in setting these up. Call us today on Bradford 01274 735511, Ilkley 01943 601173 or Bingley 01274 723858 to discuss your individual requirements.

RDC Solicitors is a trading name of Read Dunn Connell Limited registered in England and Wales with Company Number 9559492.
Registered office: 30 Park Road, Bingley, Bradford BD16 4JD. We are solicitors practising in England and Wales, authorised and regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority. SRA Number 622886. A copy of the SRA Standards and Regulations can be found at VAT No: 708421255.

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