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Power of Attorney

Lasting Powers of Attorney explained

Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) are the means by which you can appoint one and/or more persons to look after your property, affairs and or personal welfare in the event that you or a close family member, loses mental capacity and can no longer make these decisions. An LPA must be made whilst you are well and still have mental capacity. Whatever your age, putting in place an LPA in relation to your property and financial affairs is important and gives you peace of mind in the event of an unexpected loss of capacity through accident or illness.

Why You Should Consider Putting in place a Lasting Power of Attorney

Without a Lasting Power of Attorney in place, a court order is usually needed to deal with the property and financial affairs of someone who lacks capacity to deal with such matters. The process of applying to the Court of Protection typically takes up to a year and the financial affairs of the person who has lost capacity is effectively frozen in the meantime. The on-going management of that person's property and finances will be subject to the supervision of the Office of the Public Guardian going forward. Having to involve the Court and the Office of the Public Guardian in this way can be costly, time consuming and intrusive for the family of someone who has lost capacity. This situation can be avoided by taking the simple step of putting in place a Lasting Power of Attorney whilst there is no issue in relation to your capacity.

The Building Societies Association have produced a useful guide that explains how you can manage a building society account on another person's behalf. It describes the circumstances in which this is possible and how it can be done. It also sets out the documents required to be able to manage the account.