A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document which allows for nominated people (attorneys) to make decisions and act on your behalf. There are two types of LPA: Health & Welfare and Property & Financial Affairs. These have to be separate documents and cannot be amalgamated even if you choose to have the same people act in both.
If you do not have an LPA and later lose the capacity to make decisions for yourself your family would have to use the expensive route of applying for a Deputyship Order at the Court of Protection to take control of your finances.
A Health & Welfare LPA allows for your attorneys to make decisions about what medical treatment you receive, where you live, your daily routine, but most importantly decisions about life sustaining treatment. You can include preferences in the LPA to guide your attorneys.
A Property & Financial Affairs LPA appoints attorneys to handle your finances and property. You can chose to have this particular type of LPA come into effect as soon as it has been registered so that you and your appointed attorneys can work together to organize your finances while you still have mental capacity and then once you have lost mental capacity to hand over complete control.
You are able to choose whoever you wish to act as your attorney as long as you believe that should you lose mental capacity and become unable to make decisions alone that the person you chose will act according to your wishes and in your best interest. You can also appoint replacement attorneys so that should your first choice of attorney be unable to act they can take over.
You do need a Certificate Provider who certifies that you have the relevant mental capacity to make the LPA and that no one is forcing you to do so.
An LPA is an incredibly important document as it enables someone to ensure that your health and welfare and property and financial affairs will always be taken care of even if you yourself are unable to do so.
If you require advice in relation to creating an LPA, contact a member of Adams Harrison’s Private Client Department for expert and professional advice.