What are Lasting Powers of Attorney?
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document which allows you to appoint someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf if you lack mental capacity at some time in the future or to help you make decisions.
There are two types of LPA: Property and Financial Affairs, and Health and Welfare.
What is a Property & Financial Affairs LPA?
This can also be used, with your permission, while you still have mental capacity. An attorney (the person who makes decisions for you) can generally make decisions on things such as:
- buying and selling property;
- investing money;
- paying bills;
- arranging repairs to property.
What is a Health & Welfare LPA?
This can only be used once you have lost mental capacity. It allows your attorney to make decisions relating to your healthcare as well as personal welfare. An attorney can generally make decisions about things such as:
- where you should live;
- your medical care;
- your daily routine;
- life-sustaining treatment.
Why should I make an LPA?
If you lose the ability to make decisions for yourself in the future, for any reason, if you have not completed an LPA, other people may need to apply to the Court of Protection to be able to make decisions on your behalf. This can be costly, demanding and stressful for your loved ones and friends.
The additional benefit of a Property & Financial LPA is in circumstances where you are unable to deal with your finances for a short period of time, for example through accident or illness. If your LPA is registered, your attorneys may act on your behalf until you are better and able to take back control. If you then lose capacity, they can continue to act.
Who do I appoint?
As you’re giving your attorneys extensive power to make decisions about your life, you should only appoint attorneys whom you fully trust and on whom you can rely to protect your interests at all times and not to benefit themselves or others.