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A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document which allows you to appoint members of your family or good friends to make decisions on your behalf should you become unable to do so for yourself.
You might think that this is only relevant as you get older, but sadly, an accident or illness can strike any of us without warning.
Without a Lasting Power of Attorney, your family do not automatically have the legal authority to deal with any of your financial affairs should you become either physically or mentally incapacitated.
This means that no one will be able to access or deal with your bank account, savings, investments, pensions, tax, property, or take care of any of your bills or loans.
If no Lasting Power of Attorney is in place, your family must make an application to the Court of Protection in order for a ‘deputy’ to be appointed to manage your affairs. This process is extremely costly, and can take many months.
A Lasting Power of Attorney must be set up whilst you have the mental capacity to understand the scope and implications.
There are two different types of Lasting Power of Attorney:
In the event that you become physically or mentally unable to manage your own affairs, this gives the people you appoint (your attorneys) the right to make decisions regarding your financial affairs and assets, such as your house, savings, investments or any business interests you may have. It will allow your attorneys wide powers, including the ability to manage your bank accounts, buy or sell property on your behalf, deal with your investments, pay your bills, and receive any income or inheritances due to you.
This type of Lasting Power of Attorney can only be used after you have lost mental
capacity and allows the people you choose (your attorneys) the power to make decisions
regarding your personal welfare, such as deciding where you should live, your day-
Both types of Lasting Power of Attorney must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before they can be used.