Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs)
WHAT IS AN LPA?
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that allows you (the ‘Donor’) to give a person (or persons) you trust (the ‘Attorney(s)’) the authority to make certain decisions on your behalf.
It is essential that the LPA is set up in good time and whilst you retain mental capacity.
A decline in mental capacity could be due to a number of circumstances such as the onset of dementia, a stroke, illness, disease or even a traffic accident, and may be permanent or only temporary.
WHAT IF I CHANGE MY MIND?
An LPA can be revoked at any time by the Donor who remains in control as long as they still have mental capacity.
WHY DO I NEED AN LPA?
It is a popular misconception that, should we become unable to manage our own affairs, a relative or close friend could simply step in and take control of matters. The truth is that without an LPA your family would probably have to apply for a Court Order asking for someone to be appointed to deal with your affairs, during which time they may not have any access to your assets. This process is likely to take many months, be expensive, and it is the Court who gets to decide who is appointed as a ‘Deputy’ to take decisions on your behalf.
An LPA helps you stay in control of your important decisions.
Not having an LPA can be hugely stressful and time-consuming for your partner and family. Many banks, care providers and medical professionals will insist on seeing an LPA before taking instructions on behalf of a loved one; and even joint bank accounts can be frozen if one party loses mental capacity.
TWO TYPES OF LPA
a) Property & Financial Affairs: gives your attorney(s) authority to deal with your property & finances.
b) Health & Welfare: gives your attorney(s) authority to make welfare and health decisions on your behalf, but only when you lack the mental capacity to do so yourself.
Often the same individuals will be appointed as Attorneys for both types of LPA and they should only ever act in accordance with what they believe the Donor’s wishes to be and is in their best interests.
Property & Financial Affairs decisions might include:
- Paying household bills
- Buying or selling property
- Opening, closing and operating bank accounts, or managing investments
- Claiming benefits, pensions and allowances on the donor’s behalf.
Health & Welfare decisions might include:
- Giving or refusing consent to certain types of health care and medical treatment; which could extend, if you wish, to giving or refusing consent to life-sustaining treatment
- Choosing appropriate day-to-day personal care to enable you to continue living in your own home as long as possible
- Choosing the right type of residential care
An LPA can only be used once it has been officially registered with the Office of Public Guardian (OPG).
We advise that all LPS’s are registered as soon as they have been signed and witnessed.
Download our leaflet
Lasting Power of Attorney
One person in the UK develops dementia every three minutes. Yet relatives can’t just walk into a bank and access your money, even if it is to pay for your care.
Unless you have a Power of Attorney, loved ones would need to apply through court, which can be long and costly.
If you would like more information, we will be happy to assist.