5 Tips To Remember When Setting Up LPAs

The future is uncertain. 

As a result, you can never be too sure how things are going to pan out as you grow older. There can be times when you may not be able to manage your own affairs efficiently. 

However, if this were to happen, it may become difficult for your loved ones to legally take care of your property and finances or decide what medical treatment you receive. 

Unfortunately, in the UK, your loved ones have no automatic legal right to manage your affairs if you cannot. As such, the only way to give them the authority to make certain essential decisions for you is by setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney.

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is designed to protect you, your healthcare and your financial affairs. By choosing someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf, an LPA ensures your wishes are carried out when you cannot make decisions by yourself.

Given how essential this document is, it is crucial to make sure your LPA is airtight. That’s why, in this article, we will examine five key tips you need to keep in mind when setting up an LPA.

Let’s begin!

1) Choose Your Attorneys and Certificate Provider Wisely

The importance of this step cannot be overstated if you wish to minimise the risk of financial abuse. When you make an LPA, you allow a chosen attorney to make crucial financial, health and welfare decisions on your behalf. 

We all have family and friends who we cherish and trust. However, they may not always be the best choice for an attorney. You need to select an attorney who is reliable, trustworthy and has your best interests at heart. As such, choosing your attorney can be a difficult decision to make and has to be done carefully. 

Similarly, selecting the correct LPA certificate provider is equally important. When you set up an LPA, you will need a certificate provider to verify that you understand the document’s implications and that you’re not under any pressure to create it.

When choosing an LPA certificate provider, ensure that they’re reputable, impartial and can fulfil the role effectively. By choosing your attorneys and certificate providers wisely, you can make sure that all your wishes are respected.

2) Talk to Your Attorneys

If you’re setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney, it’s a good idea to ensure that you and your attorneys are all on the same page. 

That’s why having an open and honest conversation with your attorneys regarding your wishes is always recommended. This tip is especially important if you have specific ethical or religious views about certain affairs. It is also helpful if you wish to retain specific assets within your estate.

Talking to your attorneys effectively ensures your desires are fulfilled exactly how you would like them to be handled.

3) Decide What Your LPA Should Cover

In the UK, there are two main types of LPAs available. One covers health and welfare while the other covers property and financial affairs. As such, you can choose to set up one or both types.

A health and welfare LPA covers things like medical treatment, healthcare decisions and general care. In this LPA, your attorney may need to make decisions regarding if you are cared for in a care home vs your own home. Moreover, they may also decide whether you receive certain medical treatment.

In comparison, a property and finance LPA covers all your financial matters including money, shares, property or other assets you own. This allows your attorney to properly manage your finances and ensure your assets are handled in the best possible way.

For these reasons, you need to pick the type of LPA that you believe best matches your needs.

4) Consider What Happens If Your Attorney Is Unable to Act

While a situation like this may be incredibly rare, in certain situations, your attorney may be unable or unwilling to act as your PoA. This can result in many problems. 

As such, you need to consider appointing another attorney in your LPA. By doing so, you can keep yourself protected in case your first choice of attorney is unable to execute their duties. 

Additionally, you could also appoint more than one attorney to act together if you wish. However, if you do, you will also need to specify how they will go about making decisions about your affairs. 

5) Register Your Lasting Power of Attorney

Once you’ve hashed out all the details of your LPA, it needs to be registered by the Court of Protection before it becomes activated. 

Now, you have two options when it comes to the registration process. You could register the LPA as soon as it’s in place and signed by both you and your attorney. Or, you could leave it to be registered at a later date.

Oftentimes, the application and registration of the LPA can take around 12 weeks. That’s why it’s a good idea to register your Lasting Power of Attorney straight away. By registering it as soon as possible, your Lasting Power of Attorney can be swiftly activated and ready to use whenever it’s needed.

To Sum Up

You need to remember that Lasting Powers of Attorney are not just for the older generation. 

A loss of capacity could occur at any time as a result of sudden accidents or unexpected illnesses. An LPA is an effective solution to ensure that your loved ones still have some control over life-changing decisions during these tough times.

That said if you want to manage your healthcare and financial affairs effectively, consider setting up an LPA to safeguard your future.