Business expert Katherine Rowell from D&K Wills talks us through the meaning of a Lasting Power of Attorney.
I hear all too often when discussing Will and Estate Planning with clients. People think they know when they need a Lasting Power of Attorney, but actually they can be used in a number of instances.
If you are unsure what a Lasting Power of Attorney is, essentially it allows someone (or several people) that you have nominated to act as on your behalf, as if they were you, if you are unable to or unwilling (provided it is set up this way).
Lasting Powers of Attorney are for use while you are alive rather than a Will which is for when you have passed.
They come in two varieties:
1. Health and Welfare – this is to be used when you have lost capacity and allows someone else to make decisions about the health care you receive.
2. Property and Finance – allows someone to manage your property and money as if they were you. This can be very useful for someone who is abroad as well as for those who have lost capacity. They can also be made very specific and set up for business owners to allow business partners to make decisions rather than other family members.
Why do people wait?
We always associate the need for a Lasting Power of Attorney with dementia or for those who have suffered a stroke, both of which, in general, are for those who are older and coming to the end of their life.
However, they can also be used for those who have had a head injury due to an accident and are classed as having lost capacity or for those with mental health difficulties who would like someone else to manage their money.
If you would like to know more on this topic, please get in touch for some helpful advice.