Why have a Lasting Power of Attorney?
Have you considered what would happen if you became incapable (for whatever reason) to make decisions for yourself? If you have not made a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) then your family or friends will need to apply to the Court of Protection before any decisions can be made on your behalf. Unfortunately, this can be a long drawn out experience and extremely expensive as well as being stressful for family members, carers or friends.
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document which allows you to appoint someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf in respect of your property and financial affairs or your health and welfare (or both) should you lack the mental capacity to do so yourself. The benefits of making an LPA allows you to ensure your affairs will be looked after by someone you trust, if for any reason you can no longer do it yourself.
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorneys:-
Property and Financial Affairs LPA:
A Property and Financial Affairs LPA is used to appoint someone you trust to look after your financial and property affairs should you become physically or mentally incapable of doing so. We have listed below a few important tasks that this can cover although this list is not exhaustive and is intended only to give you an idea of the types of decisions that can be made on your behalf:-
- Buying or selling your property
- Opening or closing a bank or building society account
- Transferring money in or out of your bank or building society account
- Paying household bills or signing cheques
- Using your assets to finance residential or nursing care fees
- Claiming and receiving benefits on your behalf
- Claiming and receiving any pensions or allowances
- Receiving any income, inheritance or other entitlement
Health and Welfare LPA:
A Health and Welfare LPA allows your attorney to make decisions about your health and welfare. Unlike the Property and Financial LPA, your nominated attorney can only act under the LPA if you do not have the capacity to make a particular decision yourself. You can, should you so wish, include various restrictions or conditions, for example, allowing your attorney to make decisions about your social care but not health care. In addition, you can give your attorney power to give or refuse consent to health care treatment and life-sustaining medical treatment on your behalf. Again, we have listed below some of the decisions that can be made on your behalf:-
- Decisions relating to your medical treatment
- Decisions about where you are to live
- Access to your personal information
- Day to day issues, like your diet, dress or daily routine
- Making complaints about your care or treatment
Everyone should think about making LPA’s as part of sensible planning for the future. We can advise you on how these documents can be put in place and prepare the same for you to ensure that they fully comply with the latest rules and regulations. Once correctly set up, an LPA can be put stored away for an eventuality which, hopefully, never arises. You will, however, have the peace of mind that should the worst happen, then someone you trust will be able to make important decisions immediately on your behalf.
A LPA cannot be used until it has been registered with the Office of Public Guardian. The registration process is currently around 9 weeks and is subject to a fee payable to the Court on application.
For more information, please contact us 01246 433787/07985 287245 or email us at email@example.com and we will contact you to discuss further