What You Need To Know About Wills, Trusts, and LPA Solicitors

Having a will, trust, and a reliable LPA solicitor is essential when protecting your loved ones when the inevitable happens, such as sickness or death. 

Some may think that having a will, a trust and an LPA solicitor is too much. But each plays a different role, and each has advantages on its own. So let’s discuss each one below.

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What Is A Will?

Having a will protects your loved ones by minimising the financial worry during an inevitable time. Moreover, it’s a legal method of ensuring that your wishes are carried out as intended should the worst happen. But, a legal representative can only carry it out after you die. 

What Is A Trust?

A trust can already distribute your assets before, during, or after you pass away. In addition, a trust avoids probate. A probate is a process wherein a transfer of ownership of your assets to the people you designated in your will must be carried out by a court. 

Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), What Is It?

First, there are two powers you may give to an attorney, ordinary or lasting powers. Ordinary power can either be general or specific powers allowing your attorney to deal with stuff on your behalf while still having mental capacity. Often, it is limited to your property or financial affairs. 

On the other hand, lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a legal document that outlines the resolutions you would like your designated attorney to make on your behalf if you lose your mental capacity in the future. 

Legally, your family members do not automatically have the right to decide on your behalf. So it would be best to appoint someone you trust using a formal power of attorney document.

Anyone aged 18 or over or referred to as a ‘donor’ can choose one or more family members, trusted friends or advisors, or be referred to as ‘attorneys’ to make decisions on their behalf when they cannot do so themselves or choose not to.

You can nominate more than a sole attorney, and they can work together or separately when making decisions. It would be best to specify who does what and how they should do it. You can also name substitute attorneys if you wish. 

When you appoint attorneys to work jointly, they must decide on all specified matters. But, if you choose to set them jointly and severally, they can work together on some issues and separately on others. 

There are two different types of LPA. You can choose to put in place one or both types of LPA.

  • Health and Welfare LPA

Having a health and welfare LPA gives your attorney the power to make decisions that affect your health and welfare. For example, they can decide where you can live, your day-to-day care, and accepted medical treatments should you no longer have your mental capacity in the future. 

Your attorney can also choose to give or refuse consent to life-sustaining treatment on your behalf. 

  • Property and financial affairs LPA

This gives your attorney the power to manage your finances. For example, they can decide how to pay the bills, handle your bank accounts, collect your benefits and pensions and control your investments or properties. 

You can only create an LPA while you have the mental capacity. Thus, if you do not have an LPA in place and you currently lack the cognitive ability to designate an LPA, a relative or friend can apply to become a deputy to the Court of Protection. 

Once approved, they can decide on your behalf, which means you will have no power over who is chosen to function as your deputy.

Drawing up an LPA is a better option because it’s a quicker and cheaper process than applying to become a deputy.

There are several steps needed to create a good lasting power of attorney, including the following:

  • You need to figure out the different types of powers that you can give to attorneys using an LPA.
  • You have to structure your LPA properly.
  • It will help if you select the right attorney.
  • You need to draft the LPA and include bespoke clauses that reflect your situation.
  • You need to have a certificate provider that certifies that you fully understand what your LPA entails.
  • Your nominated attorney needs to complete their paperwork confirming that they are willing to make decisions and act on your behalf.
  • You need to register your LPA with the Office of the Public Guardian.

To do all the steps listed above, you need to have a professional and highly-skilled solicitor that specialises in wills, trusts, probate and LPA to handle all the details. So, if you are currently searching for one, you can check out willstrustslpa.co.uk for more information.

Conclusion

You may also have more questions regarding how you can plan and prepare for the future. Unfortunately, the correct answers are not always available online because each individual has a unique circumstance. 

So to avoid errors and ensure that you get the most accurate information, you should always solicit legal advice before making a decision when it comes to drafting your will, setting up a trust or creating an LPA.