Lasting Power Of Attorney
A Lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a legal tool that gives another adult the legal authority to make certain decisions for you, if you become unable to make them yourself. The person who is given this authority is known as an ‘attorney’. They can manage your finances, or make decisions relating to your health and welfare.
Lasting power of attorney (LPAs) let you choose a person (or people) you trust to act for you. This person is referred to as your ‘attorney’, and you can choose what decisions they are allowed to make for you. There are two different types of LPA. One of them covers decisions about your property and finances, and the other covers decisions about your health and welfare. You can choose to make both types or just one. You can appoint the same person to be your attorney for both, or you can have different attorneys. An LPA can only be used after it has been registered at the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). The OPG is responsible for the registration of LPAs.
PROPERTY AND AFFAIRS
A property and affairs LPA covers decisions about your finances and property. If there comes a time when you can’t manage your finances anymore, the person you appoint as your attorney will be able to do this for you. This can include paying your bills, collecting your income and benefits, or selling your house. However, if you want to, you can limit the decisions they are allowed to make , or place conditions on what they can do.
Once registered, a property and affairs LPA can be used if you lose either the physical capacity or the mental capacity to deal with these things yourself. Your attorney must always consult with you before using the LPA unless you are not capable of being involved in decisions.
HEALTH AND WELFARE
A health and welfare LPA allows the attorney to make decisions on your behalf about your health and welfare, if there comes a time when you are unable to make these decisions for yourself. A health and welfare attorney could make decisions about where you live, for example, or your day to day care, including your diet and what you wear. You can also give your health and welfare attorney the power to accept or refuse life-sustaining treatment on your behalf. You will be asked whether you wish to do this or not on the form, and you will need to state your intention clearly.
Once registered, a health and welfare LPA can only be used if you have lost the mental capacity to make decisions for yourself about your health and welfare.
WHAT IF I DON’T MAKE A LASTING POWER OF ATTORNEY?
If you become incapable of making decisions and managing your affairs and you do not have a Lasting Power of Attorney in place then your family (even your spouse) would have no legal authority to manage your affairs or make decisions on your behalf. If your family wish to have this authority they would have to make an application to the Court of Protection. This can be a complicated and longwinded process and something that might be difficult for your family if they are already coping with your incapacity.
Making a Lasting Power of Attorney gives you the peace of mind of knowing that the people you appoint will be able to make decisions on your behalf if you cannot. If you require further advice please contact us for an appointment.
VIEW A4 PDF Brochure