Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney are both very important documents, but there is often a misunderstanding about the use and purpose of each.
Wills are prepared per your instructions on how you want your estate to be dealt with after your passing.
In your Will, you will appoint Executors, who have the responsibility of administering your estate.
You can include specific instructions such as:
- Cash legacies to friends, family members or charities.
- Physical gifts such as jewellery, antiques, or sentimental items.
- Guardianship clauses if something were to happen to you and your child’s other parent; and
- Funeral wishes.
If a Grant of Probate needs to be applied for, it would be your Executors that would do this, either themselves or through instructing a Solicitors firm to do this on their behalf.
Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA)
There are two kinds of Lasting Powers of Attorney – Property & Financial Affairs and Health & Welfare. Lasting Powers of Attorneys are documents that are drafted and then registered with the Office of the Public Guardian that can be used only in your lifetime.
Attorneys are appointed by the Donor (the person who has created the LPAs) and they have several responsibilities, including ensuring to follow the instructions included in the LPAs by the Donor and acting in the best interests of the Donor whilst making decisions on their behalf.
More specifically, the Property & Financial Affairs LPA allows your Attorneys to act either immediately or only when you have lost capacity, and the responsibilities can include helping to manage the Donor’s money and bank accounts.
The Health & Welfare LPA is more tailored towards the day-to-day care of the Donor, and it can include specific medical wishes that the Donor may have in terms of life-sustaining treatment.
The Attorneys appointed for each LPA do not have to be the same, nor do they have to be the same as the people you appoint as your Executors in your Will.
When you pass away, your Lasting Powers of Attorney are no longer valid, and they need to be returned to the Office of the Public Guardian with a copy of the death certificate by your Executors. The Attorney’s responsibility ceases on the death of the donor.Get our latest news to your inbox