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Lasting Power of Attorney

A Lasting Power of Attoney (LPA) is a powerful legal document that enables you to give the people you trust (your Attorneys) the authority to make decisions on your behalf if you are no longer able to.

These can be set up by you whilst you are well and able to make your own decisions, however, this won't mean you lose control over your finances as your Attorney(s) should only act for you at your direction or if you have lost your mental capacity.

The key is to nominate people you completely trust to act as your Attorney(s). 

There are two types of LPA:

LPA for Financial Decisions

An LPA for financial decisions can be used whilst you still have mental capacity, or you can state that you only want it to come into force if you lost capacity. 

An Attorney can make decisions such as:

  • buying and selling property
  • paying the mortgage
  • investing money
  • paying bills and collecting your pension

You can restrict the types of decisions your Attorney can make or let them make all decisions on your behalf.

 

LPA for Health & Care Decisions

This covers health and care decisions and can only be used once you have lost mental capacity.

An Attorney can make decisions such as:

  • where you should live
  • you medical care and level of intervention
  • what you should eat
  • what kind of social activities you participate in

You can also give special permission for your Attorney to make decisions about life-saving treatment.

 

 

You can only set up a Power of Attorney whilst you can still weigh up information and make decisions for yourself. This is known as 'mental capacity'.

If you lose your mental capacity through accident, stroke or dementia without an LPA in place, your family will need to apply to the Court of Protection to make these decisions for you. This can be both time consuming and costly.

 

Key Points:

 

You can nominate one or more Attorneys and they can act together or separately.

You can determine ahead of time what decisions should or shouldn't be made by them.

An LPA must be registered with the Government, through the 'Office of the Public Guardian'.

You can revoke it at any time should you want or need to.

There is not an automatic right for next-of-kin to make decisions on a person's behalf, so a Lasting Power of Attorney can make all the decisions. 

 

5 Reasons to have a Lasting Power of Attorney

1. It gives you the control to decide who will look after your finances or wellbing in the future.

2. It is inexpensive to set up and can be revoked at anytime.

3. It speeds up how quickly your family can act on your behalf, causing minimum financial difficulties at an already difficult time. 

4. It means your finances are not determined by the alternative Court of Protection.

5. It gives you the reassurance and peace of mind to know that you have chosen someone you trust to look after these important matters for you.

 

Should you want any further information or would like to set up a LPA, please contact us on 01302 244 977.

 

Please note: this information is valid in England and Wales and will be different in Scotland and NI.

 

 

 

Publish date: 12th February 2019

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