Property and Financial Affairs – LPA
A power of attorney allows you to appoint someone else to act on your behalf. The person making the power of attorney is called a donor and the person appointed to act on their behalf is called an attorney.
There are two types of LPA:
- Property and Financial Affairs LPA
- Health and Welfare LPA
In this article, we are going to be looking at an LPA for Property and Financial Affairs and some of the most frequently asked questions regarding this type of LPA.
What is A lasting power of attorney for Property and Financial Affairs?
A Property and Financial Affairs LPA allows the Attorney to make decisions which relate to the Donor’s property and financial affairs, so this could be paying bills, collecting benefits or other income, or even selling the Donor’s house (subject to conditions).
You can choose whether this LPA can be used as soon as it is registered or whether it can only be used in the event that you are unable to make such decisions yourself. For example, if you are out of the country or physically incapacitated. You must make an LPA whilst you are still capable of making decisions for yourself. This is called having mental capacity. If you do not have an LPA (whether registered or not) and you lose your mental capacity it is too late to sign up to one then. In those circumstances, somebody may then have to apply to the Court of Protection to be appointed what is called your “Deputy”. That process is involved, expensive, intrusive and lengthy. You will need to register the LPA with the Office of the Public Guardian. If you’re the donor and you still have mental capacity, you can apply to register the LPA yourself. The person named as your attorney can also apply to register the LPA. They can do this at any time, whether you have lost mental capacity or not.
What can a Property and Finance LPA authorise an attorney to handle?
- Buying, selling and renting your property
- Renovation or repairing your property, if required
- Managing your bank accounts
- Managing your investments
- Paying your household bills
- Paying any outsource bills/fees
- Receiving income, inheritance, or other entitlement on behalf of the Donor
- Investing donor’s savings
- Claiming all benefits, pensions, allowances, and rebates.
However, you can restrict the types of decisions your attorney can make or let them make all decisions on your behalf.
How do I set up an LPA for property and finances?
Before you even set up an LPA for your property and finances you will need to make a decision about who you want to be your nominated attorney or attorneys. You should nominate someone you trust, who will act in your best interests and will take care of your assets the best way they can. You need to ensure you feel comfortable with the person and the responsibility you have asked them to take on, and the attorney themselves has the mental capacity to deal with these decisions.
There are various processes and factors that should be considered when drafting and registering a Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Finances, and it is advisable to seek the advice of an expert who can help you and your family assess the most appropriate solution depending on your circumstances.
Our specialist private client team at Larcomes Solicitors can give you accessible, cost effective and expert legal advice and guidance regarding all forms of Lasting Power of Attorney and Court of Protection services. To discuss drafting a lasting power of attorney, please call our private client team on 023 9244 8100 to make an enquiry.
Our experienced Solicitors will work with you to assess your individual needs and guide you through the best possible estate and inheritance planning solution for you and your family. We also have the expertise to deal with high value assets including issues such as inheritance tax and trusts.
Please note that this article is not intended as legal or professional advice, it is for general guidance only and updates to the law may have changed since it was published.