You can choose who makes future decisions for you.
Dealing with money and welfare matters in old age or ill health can be difficult and worrying – perhaps even impossible.
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that lets you choose one or more people you trust to make decisions on your behalf, should you become unable to in the future. These people become your Attorneys.
There are 2 types of Lasting Power of Attorney:
1. Health and Welfare
A Health and Welfare LPA allows your chosen Attorney(s) to make decisions about things like: your daily routine e.g. what you like to eat and what to wear, medical care, moving into a care home and life-sustaining treatment. This type of lasting power of attorney can only be used when you’re unable to make your own decisions.
2. Property and Financial Affairs
A Property and Financial Affairs LPA allows your chosen Attorney(s) to make decisions about your finances and property, if there comes a time when you can’t manage your finances anymore. This can include paying your bills, collecting your income and benefits, or selling your house. However, if you wish to, you can restrict their powers, or place conditions on what they can do. It does not allow your Attorney to make decisions about your personal welfare.
Who can make a Lasting Power of Attorney?
To make an LPA you must be over the age of 18. You must also have the mental capacity to make this decision. This means you are deciding for yourself that you wish to make the LPA, and you understand what this means.
Who might need an LPA?
Most of us will be fortunate enough to live long lives, but we may not always be able to manage our own affairs. If you were to suffer significant physical or mental incapacity, an LPA could make your life much easier and less stressful for you and your loved ones, as well as protecting your interests.
An LPA is a little like an insurance policy: you hope that you’ll never need it, but if you do, it’s invaluable. You arrange your LPA when you don’t need it, because when you do need it, you can’t arrange it!
We are happy to offer you advice and guidance about setting up an LPA and also talk to your Attorney about their role, so please contact us on 01925 859623.
What happens if I don’t make an LPA?
If you don’t make an LPA and become unable to make certain decisions for yourself, there may be a time when no one can do this for you, as no one will have the legal power to act on your behalf.
This can make things like paying bills, including care fees, difficult, as well as making decisions about your future care.
In this case, someone may need to apply to the Court of Protection to become your Deputy. This can give them similar powers to that of an Attorney. A relative or friend can apply to be your Deputy, or a professional may be appointed. The process of becoming a Deputy is a lot more time-consuming and expensive than an LPA. There are also ongoing requirements that a Deputy must fulfill such as paying an annual fee and also submitting an annual report, so it can be easier for someone to be an attorney rather than a Deputy.
Who can be an Attorney?
You can choose anyone you wish to be your Attorney, as long as they are over 18, they are able to make their own decisions and are not currently bankrupt or subject to a debt relief order. It’s important to think carefully about who you will appoint. Think about how well you know and trust them to make decisions in the best interests for you. Think about how they look after their own affairs, and whether they are reliable and able to carry out the role of attorney for you. You can choose to have more than one Attorney.