Lasting Powers of Attorney can be invaluable when it comes to dealing with a family member or loved one who has lost physical or mental capacity to manage their personal and financial affairs, even temporarily.
To make a Lasting Power of Attorney you will need to be over 18 and have the mental capacity (the ability to make your own decisions) to do so at the time of making the LPA.
Where there are mental capacity issues, such as early diagnosis of Dementia or Alzheimers, then time becomes of the essence for putting LPAs in place. We understand that taking the decision to make an LPA in such circumstances is difficult. Our team will support you through the process as sensitively as we can.
Lasting Powers of Attorney can be relevant to everyone. Once you have made your LPA and it has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian, you have peace of mind knowing that if you were to lose capacity in the future then the attorney(s) that you have appointed will be able to look after you and your affairs in the manner that you would wish.
There are two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney:
- Property and Financial Affairs
- Health and Welfare
You can choose to make one or both.
Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney
By making a Property and Financial Affairs LPA you, as the Donor, are giving your chosen attorney(s) the right to make financial and property decisions on your behalf. This may include managing your bank account account, paying your bills, collecting your pension or benefits or buying and selling your property. You can give binding instructions in the LPA to your attorney(s). You can also include points for guidance for your attorney(s) which are not binding. Once the LPA is registered with the Office of the Public Guardian, and if you wish to do so, your attorney(s) can use the LPA to help you even whilst you have capacity to manage your own affairs. This may assist, for example, if you have difficulty getting out and about.
Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney
By making a Health and Welfare LPA you are authorising your chosen attorney(s) to make personal welfare and medical decisions on your behalf if at some time in the future you are unable to make those decisions yourself. This may include decisions in relation to your daily routine or medical care. In your LPA you must state whether or not you are giving your attorney(s) the power to make decisions regarding life sustaining treatment. The LPA for Health and Welfare must be registered at the Office of the Public Guardian and can only be used when you have lost the ability to manage your own affairs. This is distinct from the Property and Financial Affairs LPA which can be used immediately should you wish.
Our team is experienced in offering advice in respect of both types of Lasting Powers of Attorney. Please contact us for more information.