Lasting Powers of Attorney
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It is sensible for everybody to consider what will happen if at any time you are unable to manage your own affairs, whether temporarily or permanently.
We are now living longer than ever before and as a consequence, the likelihood of us losing capacity at some point whether through it be dementia, illness or accident is far more likely.
It is often assumed that if we were unable to look after our own affairs those closest to us would simply take over and make decisions about our finances and health care. Sadly, without Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) in place you would not be able to do so. This can be significantly difficult for loved ones and can be physically and emotionally draining.
What are Lasting Powers of Attorney?
A LPA is a legal document that enables you appoint someone you trust to help you make decisions or to make decisions on your behalf. By making an LPA you have control of who you wish to appoint and can ensure this is somebody you trust.
It is extremely important to note that you MUST have mental capacity at the time of making the LPA. If you do not have capacity you cannot make an LPA an application to the Court of Protection will have to be made, which is very expensive and time consuming. Read more about this here!
There are two types of LPA’s; Property and Financial Affairs and Health and Welfare, you can choose to create both types or just one, it is entirely up to you.
Property and Financial Affairs
An attorney under this type of LPA may act even though the donor has capacity, unless stated otherwise.
An attorney would be able to make decisions about money and property for you, for example:
- managing a bank or building society account
- paying bills
- collecting benefits or a pension
- selling your home
Health and Welfare
This enables an attorney to make decisions about social and health care needs. Unlike the Property and Financial affairs LPA, the attorney under this LPA can only act if the person deemed to not have capacity.
An attorney would be able to make decisions about things like:
- deciding where the persons main residence should be
- medical care
- moving into a care home
- life-sustaining treatment
Remember, once you have lost mental capacity it is too late to make LPA’s and your loved ones would need to apply for a deputship order – a very costly and stressful way to go about things. LPA are like insurance, you might never need it but it is there for if/when you do. You wouldn’t drive your car without insurance would you?…