Lasting Powers of Attorney
A Will conveys your wishes after you’ve departed, A Lasting Power of Attorney relates to decision-making during your lifetime.
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that allows you (the ‘Donor’) to choose someone you trust (known as an ‘Attorney’) to make decisions on your behalf, at a time in the future when you might not have the mental capacity to make decisions for yourself. It is essential that this authority is set up 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.
It is a popular misconception to believe that, should we become unable to manage our own affairs, a relative or close friend could simply take control of matters. Without the prior appointment of a attorney, the only alternative would be for your family to apply to the Court of Protection This can take many months and cost thousands of pounds, without any guarantee of success.
LPAs exist in two parts: One part covers Health & Welfare. The other covers Property & Financial Affairs.
Usually an Attorney will be appointed for both forms of LPAs, since they can only act in areas where they have been given authority.
Attorneys are only able to make decisions that are in your interests.
Health & Welfare decisions may include significant choices such as
- giving or refusing consent to particular types of health care,
- deciding whether you need help and support from Social Services to stay at home or
- choosing the right type of residential housing.
Property & Financial Affairs decisions might include:
- buying or selling property,
- opening, closing or operating any accounts containing your funds or
- claiming, receiving and using benefits, pensions and allowances on your behalf.
An LPA can only be used once it has been registered with the Office of Public Guardian.
For your protection, it is essential to have an LPA registered without delay.
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.