What is Lasting Power of Attorney?
A lasting power of Attorney is a legal document that allows you to appoint people to act on your behalf and/or make decisions. (LPA). There are two types of LPA.
1. Property and financial affairs LPA
This gives your attorney the power to make decisions about your money and property, including managing bank or building society accounts, paying bills, collecting a pension or benefits and, if necessary, selling your home. Once registered with the Office of the Public Guardian, it can be used immediately, or held in readiness until required.
2. Health and welfare LPA
This gives your attorney the power to make decisions about your daily routine (washing, dressing, eating), medical care, moving into a care home and life-sustaining medical treatment. It can only be used if you are unable to make your own decisions.
There are three property and financial LPAs for every one personal welfare LPA, but we'd recommend setting both up at the same time, as they can only be created while you still have full capacity. Many people do this at the same time as reviewing or revising their will, sometimes using the same solicitor to do both.
Why Should I Need a LPA?
Failure to execute an LPA and in case of loss of mental capacity the Court of Protection has the power to appoint Organisations as an Attorney for property and financial affairs and individuals for a health and welfare, which means that those individuals you may have chosen may not be appointed. This process is also costly and time consuming.
By making these documents while you are fit, will put your mind at rest and life easier should incapacity ever arise. While we always hope that there will never need be a need to call on a Lasting Power of Attorney, having it in place eases everyone’s fears for the future.