A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal mechanism that enables you to delegate decision making authority to someone, that remains effective despite the onset of incapacity. By creating a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) document, you can choose who will deal with your affairs and make decisions on your behalf, if you become unable to.
There are two types of LPA:
- Health and Welfare – This allows you to name Attorneys to make decisions about your healthcare, treatments and living arrangements, if you lose the ability to make those decisions yourself. Unlike the Property and Financial Affairs LPA, this document will only ever become effective if you lack the mental capacity to make decisions about your health and welfare for yourself.
- Property and Financial affairs – This allows you to name Attorneys to deal with all of your property and financial assets in England and Wales. The LPA can be restricted so that it can only be used if you were to lose mental capacity, or it can be used more widely, such as when you still have mental capacity but you may be suffering from an illness, have mobility issues, or if you spend time outside the UK. In these circumstance the attorney would use the document under your instruction.
In order to make an LPA, you must have the right level of capacity to make the appointment. This means having an understanding of how the document works, the power that it will give to the attorney and being able to choose appropriate people to be your attorney(s). Mental Capacity can be lost over a period of time through conditions such as Alzheimer’s or suddenly if you are involved in an accident or suffer from a sudden medical condition such as a stroke. It is never too early to put this document in place as it gives immediate protection as well as peace of mind.
The person you appoint by an LPA is referred to as the donee or attorney and it is possible to appoint more than person to this position. It is important to consider the remit of the decision making powers that you wish to confer upon your attorney. For example, where there is more than one person appointed it is possible to restrict decision making powers so that the attorneys can only act jointly. When creating an LPA it is important to carefully consider the decision making powers that you are granting and whether more than one attorney should be appointed to manage different elements of your financial affairs.
An LPA is not valid unless it has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian and once appointed, attorneys are required to adhere with the principles of the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
At Price Slater Gawne, we can assist with:
- Advice and assistance with creating both types of LPA
- Reviewing completed LPA forms before they are registered with the Office of the Public Guardian
- Advice regarding the powers conferred by a Lasting Power of Attorney or Enduring Power of Attorney
- Compliance with the Mental Capacity Act 2005 when making decisions as an attorney
- Revoking a Lasting Power of Attorney or Enduring Power of Attorney
- Advice to an individual or attorney involved with an investigation by the Office of the Public Guardian
For further information or support regarding any issues in respect of a power of attorney then please contact us for a free initial consultation.