What is a Lasting Power of Attorney Property and Financial Affairs?
Everyone over 18 in the Eastbourne area should make a Property and Finance LPA. When you read on, you will be shocked to discover how little power you have to look after family members who lose the ability to make decisions (or get too old to wish to). If you don’t act, then it is more likely that East Sussex Social Services with end up in charge than a family member. Lovely people they are, but they do charge for their time in acting as a “deputy” and they will never know you as well as your family. And they are pretty busy.
The Property and Financial Affairs LPA deals with essentially financial matters.
Let’s say your son / mother / father / husband / wife has a major accident or stroke, and is in a coma, and is likely to stay that way for many months. As parents (or spouse) you would obviously which to be able to look after there finances, make sure their house was properly insured. Maybe even be able to sell the house and buy a bungalow or flat if he is going to be disabled.*
All of these are things which you can only do if you have been appointed as “attorney” under an old style Enduring Power of Attorney or (since 2007) the Lasting Power of Attorney Property and Financial Affairs.
If there is no Finance Lasting Power of Attorney in place….
If the LPA is not in place, then you would have to apply to be appointed as their “deputy” by the Court of Protection. This is a slow, expensive, ongoing and intrusive process The Court of Protections job is to distrust deputies and to ensure that the person being looked after is being looked after properly. Views differ on how well they do the job, but not on how intrusive and expensive the process is.
Once your children reach the age of 18, no one else has the legal authority to make your decisions should you lose the ability to do so temporarily or permanently. So everyone over 18 should ideally have a Lasting Power of Attorney Property and Financial Affairs in place, and keep it under regular review as life changes.
We strongly recommend that you contact us to discuss getting Lasting Powers of Attorney Property and Financial Affairs in place. Who knows what tomorrow holds? The cost of a Lasting Power of Attorney is a fraction of the cost of not having one, and most of us will need some help at some time in our lives. Even if it is only when we get old. Our fees for Lasting Powers of Attorney are modest, and we are happy to help you save on the registration fees if you are on certain benefits or have an income which allows a reduction on the Court registration fees.
Whilst the attorney under a Finance and Property LPA can make decisions about buying and selling homes under the LPAs authority, where the person lives is a Health and Welfare LPA attorneys decision. So it has to be made by a person appointed as attorney in one, or by a Health and Welfare Deputy appointed by the Court of Protection, or by a judge in the Court of Protection if there is no attorney or deputy.