What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
A legal document that allows you to choose someone (an attorney) to make decisions on your behalf. There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA):
Your Attorneys can make the decisions you make on a daily basis regarding your personal welfare. This can include your diet, what medical treatment you receive or where you live. This type of LPA can only be used by your Attorney when you can no longer make these decisions for yourself.
Property and Affairs
Your Attorneys can make decisions about your property and finances. This can include accessing your bank or building society accounts, managing your finances or selling your property. You can decide whether your Attorneys make decisions whenever you want or only in situations when you lack capacity.
Why should I create a LPA?
You may wish to prepare for the future. For a time when, because of mental or physical difficulties, you are not able to manage your own affairs. You may travel abroad a lot and need someone to manage your affairs whilst you are away, you could be in an accident and someone may need to access your bank account to pay for your care, you may have strong views about the medical treatment you receive – if you lose capacity who would express these views for you? A LPA gives you peace of mind that your affairs are in order and it is you that has decided who will make those decisions for you, a LPA is like an insurance policy, invaluable should the need arise.
Who can make a LPA?
Anyone aged 18 or over, with the mental capacity to do so.
What happens if I don’t make a LPA?
Nobody has the power to make decisions on your behalf. If you lose mental capacity then someone (usually a loved one) would have to apply to the Court for an Order to make decisions on your behalf (called a Deputyship Order). It is very costly and usually takes the Court six months to reach a decision, sometimes this is too late.