Lasting Power of Attorney Property and Financial Affairs
What it covers and how your attorney can use it:
Under the Lasting Power of Attorney Property and Financial Affairs (LPA) legal tool, individuals can ensure that all their financial and property arrangements can be handled easily and clearly.
But what are these financial and property concerns, and in practical terms, what can an attorney actually do to keep their best interests as the primary focus?
Creating a Lasting Power of Attorney Property and Financial Affairs enables your attorney to:
- make decisions about paying bills
- fill in forms
- call and visit the bank
- collect payments
- invest money
- claim, receive and make use of benefits
- buy, rent out or sell a property
It is important to note that an LPA only covers finances and properties that exist within England, Wales and Northern Ireland and therefore does not apply to any overseas financial agreements or properties abroad (including Scotland and Wales). Additional legal advice needs to be sought if these apply to you.
The Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) has clear guidelines on how banks must treat individuals will mental capacity limitations. These may help you to understand what banks should be doing and how to negotiate your rates.
Your attorney can also appoint a financial adviser to assist and help manage your finances if this would help make the role less daunting and complex. Your attorneys will have these powers at their disposal under a Lasting Power of Attorney Property and Financial Affairs.
What can you do to help?
At first, this may seem an overwhelming and uncertain task for a person to take on, but it can be made easier.
There are some simple things you can do to ensure that arrangements are made to simplify your finances, to save any unnecessary worry and strain:
Write a will. Creating a will and ensuring that it is up to date will make it far more straightforward and accessible for your attorney, as they will clearly know what your wishes are.
Find out about benefits. You may be entitled to benefits, so it is a good idea to run a check in advance to help with finances if an LPA is needed.
Not sure the benefits listed are great benefits? They ensure that wishes are carried out by people who they want them, and protect, largely, the attorneys from problems in helping to handle affairs
Not sure why a will would help an attorney? Better leaving a letter of wishes and discussing in detail with them.
Remove junk mail. If you have an email address, you may feel inundated by spam mail inviting you to take part in a competition to win a luxury holiday or a dream home. Unsubscribing and deleting these will remove any concerns or doubts that you may have of these impacting your financial future.
Planning for the future is key. By tidying and neatening up those financial loose ends now, it will present far less hurdles for both you and your attorney in the long-term.