What is the difference between a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) and a Will?

6 Jun 2024

What is the difference between a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) and a Will? is the sixth blog in our Wealth, Wills and Probate blog series. 

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We are often asked this question about the interaction of LPAs and a Will.

Let's start with Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs)…..

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is legal document giving one or more people you trust the legal authority to help you (the ‘donor’), make decisions on your behalf when you are unable to do so.

There are two LPAs that can be put in place, one to cover decisions regarding your Health, and the other to cover your Financial affairs.

The people you appoint are known as your ‘Attorneys’. Your Attorney's job is to assist you in circumstances where you lose capacity, either temporarily (for example due to a accident or illness) or longer term (for example dementia or a brain injury).

Your Attorneys would only act during your lifetime; their authority immediately comes to end on your death.

This is where a Will comes in……

A Will is a legal document setting out your wishes as to what happens to your money, property and possessions after your death.

In your Will, you must appoint an Executor/s. Your Executor/s is responsible for administrating your estate.

Your Executor/s authority starts on your death; they have no legal authority to act whilst you are alive. Whilst you are alive, it's your Attorneys of your LPA that have the authority to act for you.

You can appoint the same people to be your Executors and Attorneys if you wish, but they still must be appointed via an LPA and a Will.

It is important to note that no one has an automatic legal authority to manage your affairs for you, either during your lifetime or on death. We often find that when people are married, they believe their spouse has an automatic right to make decisions for them. This is NOT true. The only way to ensure they can make decisions for you legally is to have LPAs and a Will in place.  

So do you need LPAs and a Will?  The answer is Yes, absolutely!

Here at Charlton Baker we are qualified LPA and Will writers, so please get in touch with our expert team to find out more on email or 01380 723692.

You can also read more about or LPA services here, and our Will Writing service here

You might also be interested in the following related articles:

Why do I need a Will?

How often should I review my Will?

How do I choose an Executor for my Will?

Why do I need a Lasting Power of Attorney? 

What is Probate and how does it work?

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