Lasting Powers of Attorney - what are they and do I need one?
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document which enables you to decide who you trust to make decisions about your finances, property or healthcare, in the event you are no longer able to do so, and appoint them as your Attorney.
Age-related issues such as dementia are often the reason that people are no longer able to make such decisions. However, an event such as an accident or illness could also have this impact.
Without a LPA (or a valid Enduring Power of Attorney executed prior to October 20017), those closest to you could be faced with an application to the Court of Protection to give them authority to act on your behalf with regards to and health and welfare, as a court appointed Deputy.
The application process for being appointed as Deputy can be lengthily and the costs are a lot higher.
But more important than cost, the choice of who to appoint to act in your best interests rests with the Court based on the evidence provided to it, not with you.
A brief summary of the two types of LPA’s available:-
Property and Financial Affairs
This type of LPA covers decisions your Attorney may need to make concerning your property and finances. This includes the day to day matters such as managing your bank account, and also significant decisions, for example selling your home and investing the proceeds for your use and benefit, in the event you need care in a nursing home.
Health and Welfare
With this type of LPA, unless you add restrictions, your Attorney will have authority to make all personal welfare decisions on your behalf except for:
[if !supportLists]· [endif]Life sustaining treatment, unless you have expressly authorised this
[if !supportLists]· [endif]Where you subsequently make an Advance Decision (Living Will) to refuse treatment.
These decisions can only be made on your behalf if you lack the capacity to make these decisions yourself.
Woods Legal are able to help you with structuring and drafting your LPAs, and will manage the process of registering the LPAs with the Office of the Public Guardian.