A Lasting Power of Attorney, or LPA, is an official legal document allowing you to appoint one or more people to make decisions on your behalf if you become unable to do so. You might be worrying about who will manage your property and finances if you could no longer do so yourself.
There are two types of LPAs. The first is an LPA for Financial Affairs, which allows your Attorney to assist you in dealing with your finances by paying your bills, doing your banking and buying and selling property. The benefit of an LPA for Financial Affairs is that it can be used whilst you have capacity and therefore you may receive assistance from your Attorney as soon as your LPA is registered.
The second is an LPA for Health and Care Decisions, which allows an Attorney to speak on your behalf in relation to all matters from what care or treatment you receive, where you may live to life sustaining treatment decisions. This type of LPA, once registered, can only be used by your Attorney if you lose mental capacity in the future.
When choosing your Attorney you need to think very carefully. An LPA is an extremely powerful document. You are handing over responsibility for key future decisions about your life, your welfare and your assets to someone else. You should choose people who are dependable, trustworthy and have the appropriate skills to make these decisions for you.
You can only sign an LPA if you understand what you are doing at the time you sign it. If you no longer have full capacity it may not be possible for you sign an LPA. It is therefore important to plan ahead. Family or friends could apply for a Deputyship Order through the Court of Protection, but they may be unable to take on this responsibility and someone else may be given the power instead. All of this can be avoided by making an LPA.
We provide support and assistance both for clients who are concerned about the future loss of their mental capacity. The LPA process can be a lengthy one. We can guide you through the process as a whole, including registration and assessment of capacity and ensure that this lengthy application proceeds as smoothly as possible.
For help or advice please get in touch:
Click here to email or call +44 (0)20 8909 0400.