What’s more important: a Will or Lasting Power of Attorney?

Most people know how vital it is to have a Will in place to ensure that their wishes are respected when they die, however not as many people know the importance of taking out a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) whilst you still have the capacity to do so.

Despite this, numerous legal experts believe that if they only had the choice of one between taking out a Will or an LPA, they would choose an LPA.

In this article, we take a look at the major differences between the two legal documents, and outline why we believe it is beneficial to have both in place.

If you’d like to know more about how a Will or Lasting Power of Attorney could help protect your future, call Future Planning Solutions now on 01282 695 400.

What are the differences between an LPA and a will?

LPAs and wills are two very different legally binding documents.

A Will deals with your assets upon death and allows you to decide who is to inherit from your estate.

By comparison, an Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document that comes into force during your lifetime. An LPA allows you to appoint someone you trust implicitly take control of your financial affairs and/or your everyday care decisions in the event that you are no longer able to make decisions for yourself such as through illness, accident or age.

In this respect, an LPA is very much like an insurance policy to protect you from the unexpected.

What if I just make a Will?

Making a Will is a sensible step to determine what is happen to your affairs upon death. However, a Will cannot and will not offer any legal protection during your lifetime if there comes a time when you have lost capacity.

Imagine that you are driving to work and are involved in a car accident and hospitalised for a period of time – without a Lasting Power of Attorney in place, no one can legally make decisions on your behalf. How would your mortgage be paid? Who will decide what care you will receive?

At Future Planning Solutions, we would strongly advise that every adult considers making not just a Will but an LPA too.

The 2 types of LPA and how they can protect you

Lasting Power of Attorney comes in two types:

The first type of Power of Attorney allows your nominated attorney to make decisions on matters such as paying bills, managing bank and building society accounts, collecting benefits or selling property.

A Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney stipulates who can decide what care you receive – this could range from determining your daily routine, where you receive care and consent or refusal to medical treatment.

If you were to lose capacity and no LPA was in place, your loved ones may have to apply to the Court of Protection for a deputyship order to act on your behalf. This process is often costlier and more time consuming than a Lasting Power of Attorney.

For this reason, we would strongly advise that you consider making both types of Lasting Power of Attorney at your earliest convenience.

Let Future Planning Solutions help you

Making a Will or Lasting Power of Attorney may seem like a daunting task. However, by instructing the specialist solicitors at Future Planning Solutions, you can be confident that mistakes won’t be made and your wishes accurately reflected.

To see how our expert team could help you prepare a Will or LPA, call 01282 695 400 for a no obligation initial consultation.

Or, if you can’t speak to us over the phone at the moment you can contact us online by completing our simple online contact form.