Lasting powers of attorney

Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA’s) were created by the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and are a way of giving someone you trust the authority to make decisions for you at a time when you are unable to due to the lack of mental capacity.

There are currently two types of LPA:-

  • Lasting Power of Attorney for Financial Decisions
  • Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Care Decisions

Financial Decisions

A Financial Decisions LPA can be made by someone over the age of 18 to appoint someone you trust to act on your behalf in relation to the management of your financial affairs.

The LPA can be used to make decisions relating to the buying and selling of property; operating a Bank account; dealing with tax affairs; claiming benefits; pensions and investments to name but a few.

You can appoint more than one Attorney and you can give restricted powers to your Attorneys. Further, you can appoint your Attorneys so that they can either act jointly on all matters, jointly on some matters or independently of each other in relation to all or some matters.

The choice of your Attorney is your decision but you must make sure they are absolutely trustworthy. If you appoint a sole Attorney then the risk of abuse is greater and you may therefore consider a joint appointment is more advisable.

The LPA cannot be used until it has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). The OPG currently charge a fee of £82 to deal with the registration. We recommend that you register your LPA as soon as possible after it has been signed and completed otherwise, when it is needed, your Attorneys will not be able to use it for some weeks until they have gone through the registration process.

Health and Care Decisions

A Health and Care Decision LPA can be used to make decisions about where you should live, consenting to or refusing medical treatment on your behalf and day to day care, including diet and dress when you no longer have the ability or capacity to make these decisions for yourself.

The appointment of your Attorneys should be considered very carefully as this document is a very powerful one. Appointing Attorneys under this LPA means that they will have the legal power to deal with all personal aspects of your day to day life.

A Health and Care decision LPA can only be used once you no longer have the mental capacity. Therefore you will have no influence or play any part in the decisions made about your personal welfare.

You can appoint more than one Attorney and in addition you can give restricted powers to your Attorneys. You can also place restrictions or conditions on your Attorneys to give them guidance on what you would have wanted if you had to make the decision yourself.

 


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