When thinking about planning for the future, making a Will is the first thing that probably springs to mind. But, while making plans to pass on your money and property to your loved ones after you are no longer here is obviously important, what about planning for your own future? A future in which you are still here but need extra support?

Old age, dementia, a stroke, or a brain injury all reasons why your family and friends may need to step in and help you one day. However, unless they have legal authorisation to manage your finances or make decisions about your care, your loved ones could face huge challenges.

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that can provide people you trust (your ‘Attorneys’) with the authorisation they need to make decisions on your behalf. Whether you just need someone to pay your bills for a short while or you are worried about a long term illness that could affect your mental capacity, an LPA is the document you need to safeguard your future.

Why choose Stephen Rimmer for Lasting Power of Attorney advice?

Our Private Client team is led by Joe Richardson, a experienced Partner and Solicitor who specialises in a wide variety of lifetime planning work, including drafting and registering Lasting Powers of Attorney. Joe has worked with Stephen Rimmer for around 20 years, dedicating himself to helping individuals and families through some of the toughest times of their lives.

Joe is supported by our friendly and highly experienced team, including Consultant Solicitor Nicholas Manning who is a member of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP). STEP is the leading global association for solicitors specialising in inheritance, trusts and estates, with membership requiring rigorous training and examination, reflecting Nicholas’ exceptional expertise.

Our firm is proud of its high customer satisfaction rates, with many of our clients coming to us via personal recommendations, although we are more than happy to speak to you, whatever method you used to find us. 

Book a free 30-minute consultation with our Lasting Power of Attorney solicitors in Eastbourne and Hastings

We offer a free, no obligation 30-minute chat with one of our specialist lifetime planning solicitors to all new clients.

To arrange your initial consultation, you can:

How our Lasting Power of Attorney solicitors can help you

We can assist with both types of LPA:

  • Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Powers of Attorney – used to enable someone to do things like manage your bank accounts, sell property and collect your pension.
  • Health and Welfare Lasting Powers of Attorney – used to enable someone to make decisions about things like your care, your day-to-day routine, where you live and your medical treatment.

A Property and Financial Affairs LPA can be used whether the person who made it (the ‘Donor’) has mental capacity or not. A Health and Welfare LPA can only be used if the Donor has lost their mental capacity.

Either way, the Attorneys will always be limited to the powers contained in the LPA – this is why it is essential to have a solicitor draft it on your behalf.

As part of our service, we can:

  • Advise on what kind of Power of Attorney is right for you.
  • Draft your LPA on your behalf, ensuring that your Attorney’s powers are carefully defined and your wishes properly protected.
  • Register Lasting Powers of Attorney.
  • Advise Attorneys about making decisions on their loved one’s behalf.

Why make a Lasting Power of Attorney?

Did you know that if you lose your capacity to make your own decisions, your family and friends cannot just step in to manage your affairs for you?

For example, a bank will not let anyone other than the account holder access bank accounts unless they have legal authorisation. A valid Lasting Power of Attorney counts as legal authorisation.

There are many reasons why someone might lose their capacity to manage their own affairs, including:

  • They are diagnosed with an illness, such as dementia which affects their mental capacity.
  • They have an accident resulting in a brain injury that affects their mental capacity (either long term or short term. For example, someone in a coma will lack mental capacity, but if they wake up, they may regain mental capacity).
  • They have an accident resulting in a physical injury that puts them in hospital or leaves them with temporary or permanent disabilities.
  • They need to go into hospital for a while. For example, someone may struggle to make their own decisions while recovering from surgery.
  • They are elderly – sometimes, older people simply need extra support to look after themselves.
  • They live abroad, so find it hard to conduct their financial affairs in the UK.
  • They are going to prison for a while, so will be unable to conduct their own affairs.

What is mental capacity?

Mental capacity is the ability to make your own decisions, from small decisions such as what to have for breakfast, to big decisions such as whether to buy property or who to leave your money to in your Will.

Sometimes, a person may lose their mental capacity. This could be suddenly – for example, if they have a car accident which causes a brain injury – or gradually – for example, if they have a degenerative illness such as Alzheimer’s disease.

Mental capacity can be temporary or permanent. For example, someone with a brain injury may recover over time, but someone with advanced dementia will probably never recover their capacity.

However, mental capacity can also be fluctuating and change depending on the decision that needs to be made. For example, someone may be able to make a decision about their day-to-day routine, but may struggle with big decisions such as how to manage their pension.

It is important that people are enabled to make decisions for themselves as far as possible. However, where that is not possible, a Lasting Power of Attorney allows someone the person trusts to help them make decisions or take over the decision-making process on their behalf.

What happens if you do not make a Lasting Power of Attorney?

If you lose your mental capacity, but do not leave an LPA, your relatives will instead have to apply to the Court of Protection.

This can be a long and stressful process, so it is worth taking steps to avoid this, even if you think the risk is low.

Our Lasting Power of Attorney fees

We can offer fixed fee Lasting Powers of Attorney in the vast majority of cases. Our fees cover all the work of drafting, completing and registering your Lasting Power of Attorney.

We also offer ‘mirror’ Power of Attorneys for spouses and civil partners.

For information about our Lasting Power of Attorney costs, visit our pricing page.

Other ways we can help

Here are some other ways our lifetime planning team can help you:

  • Living Wills/Advance Decisions – a document which sets out your wishes about medical treatment in case you lose the capacity to refuse or consent in the future.
  • Making a Will – specialist Will writing services to make sure your money and property is passed on to your loved ones according to your wishes.
  • Inheritance Tax planning – expert advice about planning for Inheritance Tax to maximise your heirs’ inheritance.
  • Trusts – advice about setting up and managing trusts to protect your money and property.
  • Agricultural estates – bespoke advice for farming families and individuals about lifetime planning and dispute resolution relating to farms, farmland, agricultural businesses and rural property.
  • Court of Protection – advice about applying to the Court of Protection to support someone who lacks mental capacity.
  • Contentious probate – advice about challenging Wills and inheritance, including disputing whether a person had the mental capacity to make or change their Will.
  • Probate – help sorting out the final affairs of someone who has recently died.

Speak to our Lasting Power of Attorney solicitors in Eastbourne and Hastings

We offer a free, no obligation 30-minute chat with one of our specialist lifetime planning solicitors to all new clients.

To arrange your initial consultation, you can:

Our wills & probate team

Contact us for a free 30 minute interview

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