Whilst it is important to prepare a Will to deal with your estate on death, it is just as important to ensure you have provisions in place should anything happen to you during your lifetime. There are various types of powers of attorneys which enable you to appoint people to deal with your personal affairs should you find yourself incapable to doing so, whether due to physical or mental incapacity.
Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)
This is a legal document which allows you to appoint people, known as attorneys, to manage your affairs and "step into your shoes" to make decisions on your behalf if you lose capacity. There are two types, a LPA for Property & Financial Affairs and an LPA for Health & Welfare.
Property & Financial Affairs
This LPA replaced the Enduring Power of Attorney in October 2007. Property & Financial Affairs attorneys take care of payment of bills, operate your bank accounts, property and investments.
This LPA (should you wish) can be operative immediately following registration with the Office of the Public Guardian, even if you still have the capacity to make your own decisions. This could be useful, for example, where you are abroad for a long period or you are receiving medical treatment and remain infirm, during which time you would like your attorney to assist you with your affairs.
Where you are running a successful business, the last thing you would want is for things to grind to a halt should you become unwell. You can prepare a separate Business Property and Affairs LPA to ensure you appoint specific attorneys with a suitable skillset and business acumen to continue to protect your business interests. These attorneys can be different to those you would appoint to look after your personal affairs.
Health & Welfare
This LPA can only be used once you lose capacity. Health & Welfare attorneys make decisions about your personal welfare such as where you will live, and decisions about your medical treatment. You can also decide whether to allow your attorneys to have authority to make life-sustaining treatment decisions on your behalf or whether that decision is entrusted to your doctor/medical team.
NSS Legal Limited can:
- Prepare and register LPAs for both Property and Financial Affairs and Health and Welfare;
- Act as Certificate Provider;
- Advise on the inclusion of preferences and instructions suited to your needs; and
- Refer you to suitable advisers in other territories where Lasting Powers of Attorney do not apply.
Court of Protection – Application for a Deputyship Order
If you find yourself in the unfortunate situation of unable to make your own decisions and do not have LPAs in place, then an application for a Court Order will need to be submitted on your behalf to the Court of Protection. This process is far more involved, costly and time-consuming and you may end up with the Court choosing someone as your deputy who you may not necessarily have chosen yourself.
Our expertise will support you through the process of preparing and registering your LPAs, ensuring these are in line with your wishes on how you would want your attorneys to manage your affairs during what can be an already stressful time.