What is a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)?
An LPA is a legal document allowing you to appoint someone you trust (your Attorney) to deal with any Property and Financial and/or Health and Welfare decisions on your behalf. It provides your Attorney with the legal authority to make these decisions should you lose mental capacity at some time in the future or if no longer wish to make decisions for yourself.
There are two different types of LPAs:
Property and Financial LPA
This LPA covers decisions about your finances, such as managing your bank and savings accounts, making or selling investments, paying your bills and buying or selling your house.
Your appointed Attorney will make decisions on your behalf, should physical difficulties or mental incapacity prevent you from doing so yourself. The Attorney can make decisions for you as soon as the LPA is registered unless you stipulate otherwise.
Health and Welfare LPA
A Health and Welfare LPA concerns decisions on the type of health care and medical treatment you receive (to include life sustaining treatment), where you live, day to day matters such as your diet and daily routine.
This LPA allows your appointed Attorneys to act on your behalf should you become mentally incapable of making the decisions yourself.
With both LPAs your Attorneys must act in your best interests and having regard to the Code of Practice as provided by the Office of the Public Guardian under the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
LPAs are registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before they can be used and there are a number of steps that have to be completed which we can assist you with.
Why do I need a LPA?
Anyone could lose “capacity” through illness or accident and an LPA ensures that someone you know and trust can help administer your affairs.
We don’t want to be merchants of doom but part of living longer involves healthier lifestyles and keeping fit with activities such as cycling, mountain biking, rugby, football, winter sports, jogging, horse riding and many others: all carry an element of risk. Even the daily commute isn’t without obvious dangers, even though we prefer not to think about it.
Accidents can strike at any time – they say “you never know what’s around the corner” but being prepared can go a long way.
Making a Lasting Power of Attorney is a safeguard for the future, but need not necessarily mean you lose control over your affairs. With a Lasting Power of Attorney in place you are still free to deal with matters for yourself so long as you feel able or are willing to do so. The Power of Attorney can be revoked at any time while you still have mental capacity, and conditions can be placed upon its use or scope.
What will happen if I was to lose capacity and did not have a LPA? Who will manage my Affairs?
Without an LPA, an application can be made by someone (your Deputy) to the Court Of Protection.
Court of Protection applications cause additional delay and incur higher costs in comparison to LPAs.
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