Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) have been around for a number of years now. A question which we are commonly asked is ‘do I need a Lasting Power of Attorney?’
A Lasting Power of Attorney needs to be completed when you have full mental capacity and understand the document you are entering into. If you wish to apply for a Lasting Power of Attorney for a family member or friend who has lost mental capacity, you will need to take out a Deputyship Application with the Court of Protection. An easier route is to enter into a Lasting Power of Attorney while you have the ability to do so.
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney, one for Health and Welfare and one for Property and Financial Affairs.
Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare
A Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare is only used when you lack the mental capacity to make decisions for yourself. This document will deal with decisions such as:
- Consenting to or refusing medical treatment
- Deciding your diet, dress and daily routine
- Deciding where you live and what care you require
Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs
A Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs will deal with:
- Collecting your income and benefits
- Selling or purchasing property
- Dealing with your tax affairs and bank accounts
- Paying your bills
This Lasting Power of Attorney may be used whilst you still have the ability to deal with these things but choose not to.
You may appoint one or more people to act as your attorney(s) to help you make the decisions that you cannot do or do not want to do for yourself.
The Lasting Power of Attorney needs to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) and, at that time; the attorneys have a legal right to act on your behalf.
For more information on Lasting Powers of Attorney, please contact a member of our Wills and Probate Department on 01279 755777.