Wills, Trusts and Probate

Powers of Attorney

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)?

A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document that lets you appoint one or more people as your attorney(s). They make decisions with you, or on your behalf if you need additional support with day to day decisions and if you lost capacity to make your own decisions.

Different types of LPA

Property and Financial Affairs – allows you to nominate someone to make decisions about the running of your finances and ownership of property.

Health and Welfare – allows you to nominate someone to make decisions about the health care you may need in the future.

Why it is important to arrange my LPA now?

You can only set up an LPA while you have the mental ability to do so. In other words, by the time you need one due to an accident, illness or because you are mentally unable, it will usually be too late.

If you don’t have an LPA in place then your loved ones cannot automatically look after your finances or make decisions regarding your health and welfare, and the court may have to appoint someone to manage them. This can be a lengthy, stressful and costly process for your family.

Choosing people to make decisions

‘Attorney’ is the legal term for the people you choose to make important decisions on your behalf if you are unable to make them yourself.

You may have one or two people in mind for this role, but you may also want to think about who you would want as a replacement, if one of your attorneys is no longer able to act.

How decisions should be made

If you would like more than one attorney, you can decide how they should make the decisions for you. Either:

  • They must agree together on all decisions
  • They can either make all decisions together or individually
  • You can choose which decisions must be made together and those that can be decided either together or individually

Certificate Provider

A Certificate Provider is required. The Certificate Provider is an independent person who can check and confirm that:

  • You understand the significance of your LPA
  • You have not been put under pressure to make your LPA
  • There has been no fraud involved in making the LPA
  • There is no reason for concern about your LPA

Burnetts will normally act as your Certificate Provider as part of our service to you.

An alternative to an LPA Health and Welfare may be leaving Advanced Directions by which you give directions as to how you would like to be cared for in the future. We are happy to discuss this with you.