Sorting out a lasting power of attorney might seem like a daunting task. Our solicitors are here to guide you through each step, making it as smooth as possible so you can focus on other important matters.
At Switalskis, we aim to make the legal aspects of setting up a lasting power of attorney straightforward. Our team knows the ropes and is here to walk you through it all.
We understand that this is a significant life decision. That's why we simplify the legal talk, keep you updated, and make sure everything goes as planned.
When you get in touch with us, we first try to understand what you want to achieve with your lasting power of attorney. Whether it's making sure your finances are in safe hands or securing your future health and welfare decisions, we'll explain all the steps you need to take. That way, you're not left guessing about what's next.
We'll stand by you throughout the whole process, clarifying all the legal details and handling all the paperwork. We take care of the tricky legal stuff, so you can focus on your life and what's important to you. We know that everyone's situation is different, so we tailor our advice to fit your specific needs.
Choosing Switalskis means more than just hiring a legal expert; it means teaming up with people who genuinely care about your wellbeing. We make sure you're kept informed at every stage, so you can make confident decisions about your future.
A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a legal document that lets you pick someone you trust to make decisions for you. This person, known as your attorney, can act on your behalf if there comes a time when you can't make decisions for yourself. This could be due to an illness, an accident or mental decline as you get older.
There are two main types of LPA: one for financial decisions and one for health and care decisions. The financial one covers things like managing your bank accounts, paying your bills, and even selling your house. The health and welfare one deals with medical treatment choices, daily routine, and where you should live if you can't decide for yourself.
Setting up an LPA gives you a safety net. It's all about planning ahead. You hope you'll never need it, but it's good to know it's there. If something does happen and you haven't set up an LPA, your loved ones might have to go through a lengthy and costly legal process just to help you out.
To create an LPA, you'll need to fill in some forms and get them registered. It's wise to get legal advice to make sure it's done properly. At Switalskis, we can help you through this process, making sure you understand each step.
Once set up, the LPA is only activated if and when you can't make decisions yourself. Until then, you carry on as normal. Having an LPA doesn't mean giving up control; it means you're prepared, come what may.
A property and financial affairs LPA is a legal tool that lets you choose someone to manage your finances and property if you can't do it yourself anymore. This attorney has the authority to handle your money and property in a way that meets your wishes.
The attorney you appoint can do quite a few things on your behalf. They can look after your bank accounts, which includes opening new ones or closing existing ones if needed. This can be really helpful if you're not able to go to the bank yourself.
Your attorney can also handle tax matters for you. For instance, they can make sure your tax returns are filed on time and any owed taxes are paid. This helps keep you in good standing with the tax authorities and saves you the trouble of sorting it out yourself.
If you have investments or property, your attorney can manage those too. They can buy new investments, sell off ones you already have, or move your money around to get the best return. The same goes for property; they can sell it, buy more or even rent it out, depending on what you've specified.
Should you be entitled to any welfare benefits, like pensions or disability allowances, your attorney can claim these for you. They can fill out the necessary forms, provide any documents that are required, and make sure you receive what you're due. It's like having an extra set of hands to manage the paperwork that you might find overwhelming or hard to keep up with.
They can also make gifts on your behalf, but within very strict limits. This could be birthday gifts to family members or charitable donations, in line with what you have previously gifted. However, it's important to note that there are rules around how much and to whom an attorney can give gifts on your behalf, and it may be necessary to make an application to the Court of Protection before a gift can be made. You can specify your wishes and limits when setting up the LPA.
The role of an attorney is a very important one, and while anyone can act as your attorney, that doesn’t mean they are the best person for the job. Legally they just need to be:
However, when choosing this person you need to remember that they will make all your decisions on your behalf. This will include looking after your money, your property and more. It is important that you know they are capable and willing to carry out your wishes as requested.
If you don’t know who to choose or would prefer it was dealt with by a neutral third party, we can act as an attorney on your behalf.
An LPA for health and welfare gives someone you trust the ability to make choices about your medical treatment and everyday life. Importantly, this type of LPA will only take effect once it's officially registered and you're unable to make decisions for yourself due to illness or incapacity.
Your attorney will have quite a range of responsibilities. One major role is deciding where you'll live and who you'll live with. Whether it's staying in your own home with assistance or moving to a care facility, your attorney will make that choice based on your best interests.
Your attorney can also manage who you should or shouldn't be in contact with. This is to make sure that you're surrounded by people who are good for your wellbeing. They can also set up any community care services you may need, like home health aides or regular medical check-ups.
If there are any issues with your care or treatment, your attorney will be responsible for raising these complaints and making sure they're sorted out. They'll also manage any personal paperwork you have, like letters or documents that need your attention. This includes controlling who can see your personal information, which is essential for keeping your privacy intact.
Your attorney will make choices about your daily life. This could be as simple as what you eat and what you wear, but it can also extend to social activities, education and training. They aim to maintain a quality of life that's as fulfilling as possible under the circumstances.
Perhaps the most sensitive area is medical care. Your attorney can consent to or refuse medical exams and treatments on your behalf. However, there are safeguards to make sure they can only make life-altering medical decisions, like life-saving or life-prolonging treatments, if they're specifically authorised to do so in your LPA.
If you run your own business, it is often worthwhile to have a separate lasting power of attorney. That would mean that your personal property and financial affairds would be separate from those of your business and its assets. The benefit of this is you can make sure someone with an understanding of your business has control over it and someone who knows you personally looks after your personal affairs.
You can appoint more than one attorney when setting up a lasting power of attorney. Having multiple attorneys can offer a few benefits:
However, if you decide to choose this route, you'll need to specify how the attorneys should work together. There are generally two options:
You can also appoint replacement attorneys who step in if one of your original attorneys can no longer act on your behalf.
If the person you've picked as your attorney can no longer act for you, what happens next depends on how you set up your LPA.
In all these cases, it's a good idea to get in touch with a legal expert to understand your options and the best way to move forward. We know this process can be confusing, but we're here to make it easier for you.