How do I make sure my sons can look after my affairs?

I am almost 70 and I want to make sure my sons can look after my affairs in the event that I become ill in the future. My friend says I need to get to get an LPA sorted out. What is this?

Question: I am almost 70 and I want to make sure my sons can look after my affairs in the event that I become ill in the future. All I have is my home, an ISA and a savings account. My friend says I need to get to get an LPA sorted out. What is this — and can the solicitor who dealt with my husband’s probate do it for me?

Answer:  An LPA is a Lasting Power Of Attorney and there are two types — property and financial affairs, and health and welfare. You need the first type, which will give your attorneys the power to make decisions about your money and property. 

A health and welfare LPA enables your attorneys to deal with matters such as your daily care and any life-sustaining treatment you may need. Perhaps you will think about this at some stage, too.

You can appoint your sons to be your attorneys provided they are both aged over 18. Your attorneys will have a duty to the Court of Protection to act in your best interests. 

You can appoint your attorneys to act jointly and severally — which means they can make decisions on their own or they can make them jointly — or they can be appointed just to act jointly, meaning they have to agree and make all  decisions together.

You can complete the necessary forms appointing your attorneys or you could ask the solicitors that you know already to do so. The LPA must be registered with the Office of the Publican Guardian before it can be used, and a registration fee is payable.

What's your problem?
If you have a question for Fiona McNulty, please email legalsolutions@standard.co.uk or write to Legal Solutions, Homes & Property, London Evening Standard, 2 Derry Street, W8 5EE. We regret that questions cannot be answered individually but we will try to feature them here. Fiona is legal director in the real estate group of Foot Anstey LLP in Exeter (fiona.mcnulty@footanstey.com)

These answers can only be a very brief commentary on the issues raised and should not be relied on as legal advice. No liability is accepted for such reliance. If you have similar issues, you should obtain advice from a solicitor. 


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