We have discussed elsewhere the process and effects for entering a caveat, which is a…
Now that we are back in lockdown a lot of people have more time to think about what might happen if they were to be unable to make decisions for themselves, for example if they were very ill in hospital.
If you are worried about what might happen then it is a good idea to consider lasting powers of attorney – the legal documents that allow you to appoint other people to make decisions on your behalf when you can’t make them yourself.
Field Overell LLP are still open and whilst we are trying to limit the number of meetings we have in the office it is very much still possible for you to make a lasting power of attorney in Leamington Spa or Coventry. We can take initial instructions from you over the phone or via a video meeting and then arrange a socially distanced meeting for you to come in to the office and sign your documents.
If you are unable to come in to the Leamington Spa office (for example if you’re shielding) then, we can still help you to create a lasting power of attorney. In these cases, we tend to be a more inventive and take steps such as witnessing signatures through a window to help keep us all safe. Don’t worry though we’ll discuss the arrangements with you beforehand to make sure you’re comfortable with whatever we suggest.
If you would like more information or to make an appointment to discuss how to make a lasting power of attorney in Leamington Spa please call 01926 422101.
We also have a Coventry office so if you need a lasting power of attorney in Coventry call 024 7622 9582
If you want to know a bit more about lasting powers of attorney (LPAs) then keep reading…
There are two kinds of LPA that can be created:
- Property and financial affairs
- Health and welfare
Both kinds of LPA have to be registered before they can be used. The registration process itself normally takes around 2 months (but can be longer if the body that registers them (the Office of the Public Guardian) have a backlog).
We recommend registering LPAs as soon as they are created, this is due to the time that it takes to register an LPA and to guard against unforeseen circumstances causing you to lose capacity (for example a non-fatal accident or a stroke).
LPA property and financial affairs
The property and financial affairs LPA covers decisions such as the selling of assets (including your home), paying your bills and managing your bank accounts. This document can be used both while you have capacity and if you lose mental capacity to make those decisions for yourself.
Although you may have allowed others to access your bank account on your behalf whilst you have mental capacity, if you were to lose mental capacity that authority does not endure and so anyone accessing your accounts at that point would be doing so unlawfully.
In the event of a house sale (or another transaction) whilst you do not have capacity either a valid registered LPA PFA would be required or your loved ones would need to apply to the courts for a deputyship order to manage your financial affairs for you. It is possible that the individuals that apply would not be those that you would choose to appoint as your attorneys. A deputyship order application is generally a lot more expensive than creating an LPA PFA.
Health and Welfare LPA
The health and welfare LPA can only be used if you do not have capacity. It covers decisions about such matters as life sustaining treatment, where you live, what you eat and who you see.
You may need an LPA HW if, for example, you have a fall at home causing you to lose capacity and need hospital treatment, whilst in hospital the medical and social services professionals assess that you are unsafe to return to your home and require nursing care. If you do not have an LPA HW it is social services that have the authority to decide where you live, even if you will be funding the care from your own assets. Therefore, although they social services would normally take account of your loved ones’ wishes, they may not have the resources to follow those wishes and may decide that you should be placed in nursing accommodation that you would not have chosen for yourself.
If you would like more information or to make an appointment to discuss LPAs then please call us:
- Leamington 01926 422101
- Coventry 024 7622 9582