Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs)
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that allows you (the Donor) to choose someone (the Attorney) to make decisions on your behalf, when you no longer wish to make those decisions, or you lack the mental capacity to do so.
An LPA is the best way to ensure that the people you trust will be able to make important decisions on your behalf if you become mentally or physically incapable of doing so for yourself.
Make an LPA while you have mental capacity
You may make an LPA at any time provided you have the necessary mental capacity.
Assessing capacity is usually straightforward. However, sometimes it may be difficult, and may require the assistance of a doctor or other professional person.
Broadly speaking, capacity means that you have a general understanding of what decision you need to make, and the consequences of making or not making that decision at the time it is being taken.
You’re in control…
Making an LPA does not restrict your right to control your affairs for as long as you are able. The appointment of an Attorney means that there is someone to carry out your wishes, if you cannot cope or would just like some help. At any time you may ask your Attorney to take responsibility for various aspects of your financial and property affairs.
Types of LPA
Health and Welfare
A Health and Welfare LPA enables your Attorney to make decisions affecting your personal health care and welfare.
This could involve significant decisions, such as giving or refusing consent to particular types of health care, including medical treatment decisions; or whether you continue to live in your own home, perhaps with help and support from social services, or whether residential care would be more appropriate for you. It also includes your day to day care, including what you wear and what you eat.
Property and Finance
A Property and Financial Affairs LPA gives your chosen Attorney(s) authority to deal with your property and finances as you specify.
You can appoint your Attorney to manage your finances and property whilst you still have capacity. For example, if you were going abroad or into hospital, it could be convenient to allow your Attorney to carry out tasks such as paying your bills or collecting your benefits or other income.
Examples of things your Attorney can manage on your behalf are:
- looking after your bank accounts, savings, investments or other financial affairs
- buying and selling property on your behalf
- claiming and spending welfare benefits on your behalf
- deciding where you live
- tax affairs
You may decide to give your Attorney the power to make decisions about any or all of your property and finances, even selling your house. If you do not want to give such wide powers, you may require your Attorney to act only in respect of certain tasks and/or only when you lack
If you’d like to find out more about Lasting Powers of Attorney contact us today by filling out the form below.
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