Whilst a Will deals with our assets when we die, a Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) deals with what happens should we become unable to make decisions for ourselves. A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document allowing you, the donor to appoint people, known as attorneys to make decisions on your behalf. Why a Lasting Power of Attorney is not just for the elderly.
There are several reasons why you might want to make an LPA.
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney, Health & Welfare and Property & Financial Affairs. You can decide whether you take out one or both.
This LPA allows your appointed attorneys to make decisions in regard to the following:
It is important to note that if you already have an Advance Decision in place and you give your attorneys the power to decide on life sustaining treatment, this will override your original Advance Decision. A Health & Welfare LPA can only be used once you no longer have the mental capacity to make your own decisions, even if it has been registered.
This allows your chosen attorneys to make decisions about:
A Property & Financial Affairs LPA cannot be used until it has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. The powers of your attorneys can be restricted and you can place conditions on what they can and cannot do.
Any attorney appointed when making decisions must follow the Mental Capacity act. They must:
If an attorney fails in his duty, the LPA could be cancelled and an investigation carried out by the Office of the Public Guardian and the person prosecuted.
” So, who should consider taking out an LPA? The main question to ask is “Who would look after my affairs if I am unable to do so? Having the legal right to take on this role is very different to somebody wanting to take on the role. Your spouse/partner does not have this right automatically.