Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) were created under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, which came into effect on the 1st October 2007/ They allow people to plan ahead for a time when they may lack mental capacity.
An LPA is a very important legal document which allows you (as the donor) to officially appoint one or more persons (called the attorneys) to make some decisions on your behalf, if in the future if you were unable to, due to illness or accident. This would be someone you have great trust in and who you believe would act in your best interests.
In order to make an LPA you must be aged 18 or over and have the ability to make your own decisions (known as having mental capacity).
If you did begin to lack mental capacity, and did not have an LPA in place, the only way someone could manage your affairs in your best interests would be by appointment by the Court of Protection as a Deputy. An application to the Court of Protection would be required for that. These applications are expensive and time consuming and can lead to stressful challenges in the meantime. Therefore, we suggest planning ahead to ensure that your wishes regarding your financial affairs and management of your health and welfare are in place to avoid this.
Even if you think you may have left it too late, this may not be the case and we will be able to advise you on your individual situation.
There are two different types of Lasting Powers of Attorney; Property and Financial Affairs and Health and Welfare – we can help devise one or both for you.
- Property and Financial Affairs
Where the attorney(s) is given power for decisions regarding any property or money. This could include the following:
- Managing a bank or building society account,
- Paying any bills,
- Collecting your benefits or pension and
- Selling property.
This type of Lasting Power of Attorney can be put into practice as soon as it has been registered, even if you do not lack mental capacity, providing you have given permission to the attorney(s) to act on your instructions before that happens.
2. Health and Welfare and Property and Financial
With a Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney your chosen attorney(s) can, if you are unable to do so yourself, make decisions regarding:
- Your daily routine (i.e., washing, dressing, eating)
- Your medical care
- Being involved with assessments for provision of community care services
- Making complaints on your behalf about your care or treatment
- Where you should live and who you should live with – moving into a care home
- Any life sustaining treatment you may need
- Rights of access to your personal information
This type of Lasting Power of Attorney can be registered straight away but can only be acted upon when you lack mental capacity to make your own decisions.
LPAs cease to be valid on death of the donor and the attorneys have no power over the donor’s estate from that moment. So, clients often wish to draw up a Will and consider the administration of their estate after death at the same time as making their Lasting Powers of Attorney. Please click here to view more information about our Will writing service.