A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a document under which a person (the ‘Donor’) gives authority to one or more other persons (the ‘Attorneys’) to carry out matters on his or her behalf.
LPAs were introduced to replace Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPAs), which can no longer be made. However, an EPA made before 1st October 2007 can still be used indefinitely. (As EPAs do not apply to health & welfare matters, you may wish to set up a separate LPA to cover these.)
There are two types of LPAs, either or both of which we should be happy to set up for you.
– Property & Financial Affairs
– Health & Welfare
A Property & Financial Affairs LPA
This allows your attorney (who will be a responsible person or persons of your choosing) to manage your financial and property affairs.
This means you can authorise them to write cheques on your behalf, pay bills or claim benefits for you.
By planning ahead, you are able to give your instructions while you are of sound mind, and in anticipation of the possibility of not being capable at some future date.
This provides invaluable peace-of-mind in the unfortunate eventuality of you being rendered incapable of managing your own affairs.
A Health & Welfare LPA
This allows you to authorise someone to make health and welfare decisions for you and can only be used if you lose the necessary mental capacity.
Your attorney will be then able to make decisions about where you live and your day-to-day care, having already discussed this with you.
They will also be able to refuse or consent to medical treatment on your behalf, if you desire.
What are the problems if I don’t have an LPA?
Not LPA in place could cause untold distress to both you and to your loved ones, creating problems that could easily be avoided.
If you were struck down by sudden illness or disability (such as a stroke) there would inevitably be considerable delays before care fees could be paid or your home sold (if necessary), and important decisions could be made. An application to the Court of Protection would usually be needed to make an application for a Deputyship Order – a time-consuming, expensive and frustrating exercise which could have been avoided if a registered Lasting Power of Attorney had been in place.