Legal Eagle Column: Wills are important but don’t forget about setting up a LPA

Jag-Preet Chandi is a Private Client Solicitor at Neves. There has been much publicity recently about Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs), and here she looks at the reasons why putting a LPA in place is an extremely good idea.

Discussions regarding future-proofing or protecting your partner’s or family’s financial security often focus on Wills.

Wills are certainly important but have you also considered what would happen if you or your partner lost mental capacity?

If you lose your ability to manage your own financial or personal affairs, there is no automatic right for your partner, husband or wife, or any other family members to access your money and manage your affairs for you.

A LPA is a legal document that lets you appoint one or more people to help you make decisions or to make decisions on your behalf.

This allows you to appoint those you most trust to help handle your affairs and gives you more control over what happens to you if you have an accident or an illness and can’t make your own decisions.

If there is no LPA in place when mental capacity is lost then a family member, friend or solicitor will have to apply to the Court of Protection to be appointed as your Deputy.

This can be an extremely time-consuming and expensive process, in which you are unlikely to have any say as to who is controlling your affairs and during which time no action can be taken to deal with them.

There are two types of LPA. A LPA for Property and Financial Affairs gives the legal authority for your loved ones to manage your assets on your behalf, for your benefit, and a LPA for Health and Welfare enables your loved ones to make decisions as to your care and medical treatment in situations where you are unable to do so.

LPAs are powerful documents and can provide you with peace of mind that your loved ones are protected and catered for in the event of loss of mental capacity.

The Private Client department at Neves deals with both types of LPAs and would be able to give comprehensive advice regarding these.

We’d be happy to hear from you with your enquiries and would urge everyone, regardless of their age, to make LPAs.

Call Jag-Preet at Neves Solicitors on 01908 304560.

This feature was published in the May 2018 issue of Celebrate:MK lifestyle magazine. Read the full magazine above or by clicking on this link.

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