Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA)
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document where you can appoint a partner, friend or even solicitor to act on your behalf during your lifetime. This person is known as your Attorney and you are known as the Donor.
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney:
- Property & Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney
- Personal Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney
By signing a Lasting Power of Attorney while you are mentally capable you can have peace of mind and certainty regarding the person who will deal with your affairs.
Why would a Lasting Power of Attorney be needed?
A Lasting Power of Attorney can be used to cover situations such as being mentally or physically incapable or even just being in hospital or abroad. It means that if you are incapacitated for some reason a person of your choice will be managing your affairs and decisions.
What if I do not make a Lasting Power of Attorney?
Without a Lasting Power of Attorney it is extremely difficult for someone else to deal with your affairs. It can be a lengthy and expensive procedure involving the courts and the person appointed may not be the one you would have chosen in your Lasting Power of Attorney.
What is a Property & Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney?
A Property and Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney gives power to an Attorney to make decisions on any or all financial matters regarding the Donor. The Donor can decide which of these decisions can be made by the Attorney.
What is a Personal Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney?
A Personal Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney could be seen as a much more detailed version of a Living Will/Advance Decision. It gives the Attorney power to make decisions regarding a variety of issues such as:
- Refusing or consenting to medical treatment
- Deciding where the Donor lives
- Day-to-day decisions e.g. diet, dress and daily routine
These decisions can only be taken once the Lasting Power of Attorney is registered.
The Donor can choose which decisions should fall to the Attorney and it is possible to have different Attorneys for different decisions.
The medical profession are there, of course, to preserve life. Having a H&WLPA means that your Attorney(s) can relay your instructions without having to delve into the "best interests" debate with the medical profession or social services.
To ensure your wishes about your care and medical treatment after incapacity are heard and to give your family a "trump card" when it comes to your care you will need to make a H&WLPA. The best person to make decisions for you is you.
Can I have multiple attorneys?
It is possible to have different attorneys for different decisions. This just needs to be made clear in the Lasting Power of Attorney.
Can my Lasting Power of Attorney be used while I still have mental capacity?
The Property and Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney can be used while the Donor still has mental capacity. However, the Personal Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney can only be used when the Donor has lost mental capacity.
Therefore, the Property and Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney and the Personal Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney can be registered and used at different times.
For more information about Lasting Powers of Attorney, please contact our Wills and Probate team.