LASTING POWER OF ATTORNEY

There are many reasons why you should get lasting powers of attorney… Here are our top five

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document appointing one, or more, trusted people to act as your attorney. By appointing a Lasting Power of Attorney, this person is then responsible for making decisions on your behalf.

There are two types of LPA:

Health and welfare

This type of LPA gives an attorney the authority to make decisions regarding things like future medical care and life-sustaining treatment. This can only be used when a person no longer has the capacity to make these decisions themselves.

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Finance and property

This gives an attorney the authority to manage bank accounts and collecting benefits and pensions as well as buying or selling property. If the person gives their permission, this LPA can begin with immediate effect.

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Why would someone need an LPA?

Unfortunately, some people reach a stage where they are unable to make decisions because they have lost the mental capacity to do so. Mental capacity is said to be lost when a person can no longer understand and retain information to make a clear decision. Therefore, an LPA must be appointed before all mental capacity is lost, to ensure their wishes are best reflected once they are gone.

Agreeing to be an attorney

An attorney’s responsibilities will be outlined in the Lasting Power of Attorney documentation. It will define what kind of decisions the attorney is authorised to make and under what circumstances, although it typically comes into effect when the donor no longer has the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves.

Before you appoint someone as Lasting Power of Attorney, or if you’ve been appointed by someone already, it’s always important to remember that this role may involve making some difficult decisions with regards to healthcare and finances.

Your authority as an attorney

Many people mistakenly believe that a Lasting Power of Attorney gives someone unlimited power to make decisions on behalf of the donor, however, this is not the case. An attorney can only make decisions with regards to what has been specified in the legal document.

Although you can be appointed as an attorney for a health and welfare LPA as well as a property and financial LPA, you cannot make decisions on both if you have only been appointed as an attorney of one of these categories.

How can we help

We will guide you through the process of creating a valid Lasting Power of Attorney and help you construct a document that accurately reflects your wishes. This includes: Helping you understand the different types of powers that can be given to attorneys through a Lasting Power of Attorney, advising you on how best to structure your Lasting Power of Attorney document and helping you choose the right attorney for you.