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If I have made a Will, do I need a Lasting Power of Attorney?

View profile for Emily Coleman
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Are we facing a dementia crisis and if so how can we plan for it?

A Will and Lasting Power of Attorney are different legal documents that serve different purposes. Having a Will in place allows you to choose who you would like to manage your affairs after death, this would be your Executor and you can choose who you wish to inherit from your estate. A Will only comes into force following the death of whom the Will relates to. At this stage, the Executor can then administer the estate according to the wishes left in the Will.

Whilst your Will comes into force following a death, a Lasting Power of Attorney is in place during the applicant’s lifetime, and it is revoked upon their death. There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney, one deals with property and finances and the other deals with health and care.

Having a Lasting Power of Attorney in place will allow you (the donor) to nominate an attorney(s) to make decisions on your behalf if you lose mental capacity. Your attorneys should be someone trustworthy that you would like to appoint to deal with your affairs. If the Lasting Power of Attorney is in use, your attorneys have to act in your best interests and make decisions on the donor’s behalf should the donor lose mental capacity or be unable to do it themselves.

Both a Will and Lasting Power of Attorney are significantly important documents. There’s no overlap between the two as your Will protects your beneficiaries’ interests after you’ve died, and a Lasting Power of Attorney protects your own interests whilst you're alive.

A professional probate practitioner would be able to assist you further if you are interested in making a Will and /or a Lasting Power of Attorney.