Estate Planning

Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)

Receiving a diagnosis that mentally or physically incapacitates you does not mean life has to grind to a halt. Legal support lets you, even when your body seems to fight against you. To prepare for the future, you will likely need two legal documents:

  • A will
  • A Power of Attorney
LPA’s can be arranged as an additional professional service and is an important legal document. This document gives you the option to choose, in advance, who you feel would make the right decisions on your behalf should you or your partner become incapacitated and unable to make important decisions for your self in the future.

The types of LPA Financial Affairs & Property

  • Your attorney can manage your money with a property & financial affairs LPA.
  • Your attorney can care for you day to day with a Health & welfare LPA.

With these in place, you are able to get on with enjoying time with your loved ones without worrying about what happens if the worst happens.

A will lets you choose what happens to your home and possessions when you pass away. You should write or update a will whenever you experience a significant change in circumstances, like receiving a major diagnosis.

Without one, your final wishes will not be carried out. The courts will decide how your estate is divided and some loved ones are not guaranteed to inherit. You can learn more in “What happens if I die without making a Will?”

To make a Will, you must be over 18 and have ‘testamentary capacity’. This means you must be able to make decisions for yourself and understand your actions.

If you’ve recently been diagnosed with dementia, you can usually still write or update your Will – but because of the uncertain nature of illnesses, it’s best to act quickly, while you still feel like you.

Deputyship order

If a loved one is no longer able to make their own decisions, you will need to apply to the Court of Protection for a deputyship order, if no Lasting Power of Attorney is in place before incapacity. Once approved, you will gain the legal right to act on someone else’s behalf.  It is always best advised to have a Will and Power of Attorney in place.

However, it costs quite a bit more than an LPA. The approval process is longer, leading to disruptions like not being able to pay someone’s rent or bills. You are also more restricted in what you can do, with lots of paperwork and annual fees.

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