A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal tool that gives another adult the authority to make certain decisions for you if you become unable to make them yourself. The person who has been given this authority is known as an ‘attorney’. They can manage your finances, or make decisions relating to your health and welfare.

Before an LPA can be used, it must be registered by the Office of the Public Guardian and must be made whilst you have mental capacity. If you do not have mental capacity it must be applied for through the Court of Protection.

LPA’s are governed by the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and your attorneys must follow the principles of this act as follows:-

Your attorneys must assume you can make your own decisions unless it has been established that you cannot do so.

They must always act in your best interests when you are unable to make a decision.

They may not use the LPA to alter your will in any way. The LPA expires when you die.

Establishing an LPA is not only the preserve of the elderly.

If you have pension benefits that are already in drawdown we would advise you that you should ensure that you have a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) in place.

Drawdown, unlike an annuity, requires you to be able to manage your financial affairs throughout your lifetime until your death.

In the context of drawdown, this could include anything from managing your investments to income being redirected in order to provide for your family and/or fund care needs.

Recently the FCA have been increasingly concerned that younger people with drawdown funds have not considered an LPA.