Why make a Lasting Power of Attorney?
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) enables you to choose one or more people to make decisions and manage your affairs during your lifetime if you become unable to manage your own affairs due to mental incapacity. There are two separate LPAs. One relates to your property and financial affairs and the other relates to your personal welfare.
If you do not make an LPA and you lose mental capacity, the Court of Protection can appoint people to manage your affairs but you will not be able to choose who those people are. The procedure can also be costly and take a considerable length of time.
If you made an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) prior to 1st October 2007, this will remain valid but it only enables your attorney(s) to deal with your financial affairs. Your attorney(s) will not have authority to make decisions relating to your health and welfare.
Property and Financial Affairs LPA
Your attorney(s) will be able to make decisions and deal with matters including operating your bank accounts, claiming benefits on your behalf, dealing with your tax affairs and selling your house or other assets.
Your attorney(s) can act for you, with your agreement, whilst you are mentally capable of managing your affairs which can be useful if you are physically incapacitated or abroad for an extended period. They will also be able to make decisions and act for you if you lose mental capacity in the future.
Health and Welfare LPA
Your attorney(s) will be able to make decisions about your personal welfare including your living arrangements and care, your diet and the type of activities you take part in, and consenting to or refusing medical treatment including life sustaining treatment. Your attorney(s) will only be able to make decisions on your behalf if you have lost capacity to make decisions for yourself.
Both types of LPA must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before they can be used by your attorney.
How we can help
We can advise you about making LPAs, prepare the documents for you and deal with registration. If you wish to appoint a professional attorney in relation to your property and financial affairs, a Partner of this firm can be appointed.
We can also assist attorneys with registration of EPAs.