What is a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)?
As we get older, our thoughts move towards planning for our later years, getting
things sorted so that we can enjoy our retirement, grandchildren, holidays, whatever
is on our horizon. One really important step to take control of your future is to set up
a Lasting Power of Attorney. This legal document allows you to appoint people that
you trust to make decisions for you, should you no longer be able to make decisions
Can I have more than one Attorney?
Yes, you can appoint more than one Attorney, and this is often the case for people
who have more than one child, although you don’t have to appoint children, you can
appoint another relative, friends or a professional as you see fit. This person will
have the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf. There is also an option to
choose Replacement Attorneys, to step in if the original Attorney passes away or is
no longer able to act.
What kind of Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) are there?
There are 2 types of LPA. A Property and Financial LPA and a Health and Welfare
LPA. The Attorney must make decisions in your best interests and follow any
instructions or guidance that you put into the LPA when you made it.
What is a Property and Financial LPA?
A Property and Financial LPA will give the Attorney authority to make decisions
around your bank accounts, paying bills, buying or selling property, investing, or any
financial or property related decisions.
What is a Health and Welfare LPA?
A Health and Welfare LPA will give the Attorney authority to make decisions around
your medical treatment, day to day care, living arrangements, social activities and
end of life care.
Why should I put a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) in place?
The easiest answer is so that you can influence what happens to you in the future,
should you lose mental capacity in some way. By appointing someone that you trust
to make decisions on your behalf, and outlining your wishes in an LPA, you are
ensuring that, should you lose capacity in the future, your wishes will be followed in
terms of your health and welfare and finances. If a person lost mental capacity and
an LPA was not in place, decisions around your care, living arrangements or
finances could be taken out of your control and made using legal frameworks that
are perhaps not in line with your wishes. Your close family would need to specifically
apply to the courts to become a Deputy, however that process is complex and
expensive and can take a long time to get in place. In the meantime, problems may
arise around finances and decision may be made that you wouldn’t be comfortable
When should I put a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) in place.
If you are considering putting an LPA in place there is no reason to delay. One
important point to consider is that you can only put in place an LPA when you have
mental capacity to do so. Examples of what could happen to mean that we no
longer have capacity include: Accidents, A stroke, Dementia, or other illnesses.
Unfortunately, we can’t know if or when any of these events could happen to us, so it
is best to put an LPA in place if it’s something you know you want to do at some
point. If circumstances change you can always revoke and create a new LPA in the
How many people have an LPA in place?
According to research by Lloyds Bank in 2022, 4 out of 5 over 55’s in the UK do not
have an LPA in place, finding that adults in the UK are unclear about the benefits of
having an LPA in place. Almost one third of people surveyed believed that an LPA
was something that was put in place after a person becomes ill. And nearly two
thirds of people were unaware of how an LPA could help in later life. The good news
is that more and more people are carrying out later life planning and therefore the
use of LPA’s is on the rise.
What happens to my LPA if I get engaged in the future?
If you get engaged to be married and make a claim to court within three years of your engagement
ending, the court can deal with questions relating to both the title and possession of property. The
court can only determine what your interests and rights are in relation to property, not the power to
adjust those rights. It cannot give you any greater or different rights from those you would have had
but for the fact of the engagement. “Property” includes personal property, net proceeds of sale of
property, or any other property bought with net proceeds.
What happens to my LPA if I get married?
If you get married, the co-habitation agreement will no longer provide you with legal protection.
When you get married there are a different set of laws that govern the financial interests of the
parties in the marital property. If you would wish to continue with the protection afforded by your
co-habitation agreement you would need to entre into a pre-nuptial agreement.
How can I put an LPA in place?
You can use a specialist solicitor to do this for you, or you can do it yourself on the
gov.uk website. You will need to consider who to choose as your Attorney and don’t
forget that you can choose more than one. Make sure you discuss it with them and
that they are comfortable making these decisions should the need arise.
If you would like to use a specialist solicitor to put in place a Lasting Power of
Attorney then Rucklidge Law can help. We offer a no-obligation consultation where
we can answer any questions that you might have before getting started.