A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legally-binding document that enables one person to give someone else the right to make decisions on their behalf when they no longer have the mental capacity to make these decisions on their own. Or, when they are finding it difficult to arrange their own affairs, for example if they have mobility issues.
Lasting Powers of Attorney are created for many reasons and, regardless of the reason why, creating one gives someone else the legal power to make financial and medical decisions for you when you are no longer able to or, when you feel you need some help.
How Does A Lasting Power Of Attorney Work?
When someone decides to appoint an Attorney, they are referred to as a Donor. A Donor gives one or more individuals the right to make decisions on their behalf – and the person or persons being given this right is referred to as an Attorney.
Entering into an LPA is a complicated procedure as there are rules that must be followed.
To help you create an LPA, the rules you need to be aware of include the following:
- You should apply for an LPA before you need it
- You need to be mentally capable when you enter into an LPA
- You can choose one Attorney or more
- If you choose more than one, you decide if your Attorneys make decisions together (“jointly”) or make some decisions together but also act separately at times (“jointly and severally”)
- You can decide to appoint your Attorney for a set amount of time or indefinitely
- You can decide what decisions your Attorney or Attorneys have the power to make for you
- An LPA becomes legally valid once it has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian until you, the donor, dies or you decide to cancel an LPA while you still have the mental capacity to do so
Enduring Power of Attorney Vs Lasting Power of Attorney
In 2007, the Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) replaced the Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA). However, EPAs completed before 2007 are still legally valid. EPAs can be used by an Attorney without it being registered if you still have mental capacity. An Attorney must register an EPA if the donor no longer has mental capacity. An EPA can only be used for property and financial affairs and cannot be used for someone’s health and welfare.
There are 2 types of LPA:
Property and Financial Affairs LPA
This LPA is to do with the decisions regarding your money and property. This can be used as soon as it is registered.
A Property and Financial Affairs LPA can help you to:
- Pay bills and mortgage
- Collect your pension
- Manage your bank accounts and investments
- Arrange any property repairs
- Buy and sell property
Health and Welfare LPA
This LPA is to do with the decisions regarding your everyday life and wellbeing.
You can also provide your Attorney with the power to accept or refuse life sustaining treatment on your behalf.
This LPA can only be used when you no longer have the capacity to make your own health and welfare decisions.
A Health and Welfare LPA can help you to:
- Manage your daily routine
- Arrange where you live
- Find a care home
- Manage medical care and treatment
General Power of Attorney
There is also a General Power of Attorney, which is used for a set period of time or purpose and only gives power to the Attorneys to act while the donor has full mental capacity.
A General Power of Attorney can help you to:
- Manage certain circumstances such as when you’re recovering from an illness or fall
- Receive help with making decisions when you’re away, such as on an overseas trip
How We Can Help You Apply For A Power Of Attorney
The right Power of Attorney can really help you and a loved one to manage and better cope with difficult times, enabling decision making to become more straightforward and effective. By having a Power of Attorney in place, you have complete peace of mind that no matter what happens in the future, you are able to make the best possible decisions for a loved one or that they are able to make the best possible decisions for you on your behalf.
Our experienced solicitors are here to help you with the application, the process, and with any queries you may have regarding Powers of Attorney. We will provide the support and advice you need to make the process of applying for Power of Attorney and of being an Attorney for someone, as easy and effective as possible for you.
To speak to one of our solicitors for further information or advice on Power of Attorney, you can contact us on 01244 311 633 or email firstname.lastname@example.org