What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
Wednesday 23rd January 2019
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that sets out who you would want to deal with your affairs if you are unable to do so yourself.
It is very useful should you suffer sudden loss of mental capacity, or if you were to suffer dementia or a long term illness.
Why should I make a Lasting Power of Attorney?
You are unable to predict when you may be rendered unable to sign documents or make decisions for yourself. This could be due to an accident, severe illness or it could occur over time as your health deteriorates.
If you do not have an LPA and you lose your mental capacity, you will need a deputyship order. This is more expensive, can be a lengthy process and could result in the wrong person becoming your deputy. For example; an estranged child, a spouse you are separated from or even a professional person you have never met.
Types of Lasting Powers of Attorney
There are two different types of LPA which are responsible for handling your affairs.
LPA for Property & Financial Affairs – used for dealing with day to day financial affairs including:
- Investing money
- Selling or transferring property
- Collecting benefits
- Paying bills
Generally, this LPA looks after the financial interests of you, the donor, and can be used if you are still capable but have given your consent.
LPA for Health and Welfare – used for care and medical decisions.
Your attorney can make decisions about anything to do with your health and personal welfare, this includes:
- medical treatment
- where you are cared for
- the type of care you receive
- day-to-day care about your diet, dress and routine
You can list any instructions that your attorney must follow or any preferences you would like them to take into account when making a decision for you.
Registering your LPA
An LPA cannot be used unless it has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian which can take around 12 weeks.
Signing an LPA
A donor needs someone to certify that they have the mental capacity to sign their LPA. It needs to be signed before an independent witness and attorneys also need to sign before a witness. The format and order in which the document is signed is important and that’s where we can help. We will complete all of the paperwork for you and also be your certificate provider making the process faster and more simple.
If you have any questions or would like to discuss your circumstances with us, call 0330 010 8370 or complete the online contact form here.