What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
A Lasting Power of Attorney (“LPA”) is a legal document which allows you to choose who would manage your affairs in the event that you were unable to do so. For example, if you were to lose mental capacity or even some level of your physical ability and were unable to deal with matters yourself then you would appoint “Attorneys” to act on your behalf.
Most people dismiss the idea of making a Lasting Power of Attorney because they are fit and healthy at the moment however you cannot sign a Lasting Power of Attorney if you do not have sufficient mental capacity at the time so it is essential that you put this document in place BEFORE you lose mental capacity.
There are Two types of Powers of Attorney
Property & Financial Affairs
This would allow your Attorneys to attend to matters such as:-
- Paying your bills
- Managing your Pensions and Insurance
- Collecting benefits
- Investing assets
- Maintaining your property
- Buying or selling a property on your behalf
Health & Welfare
- Where you should live
- What medication you should take
- What you should eat
- What you should wear
- Whether to accept or refuse life sustaining treatment on your behalf
What Happens if a Lasting Power of Attorney is not an Option?
If somebody has lost mental capacity and does not have Lasting Powers of Attorney in place then it is too late to sign them. This is why it is so important to sign these documents while you are well enough to do so.
In these circumstances, somebody else would have to apply to the Court of Protection to be appointed as a Deputy on your behalf. The cost to apply to the Court of Protection is significantly higher than the cost to put Lasting Powers of Attorney in place.
Visit the Court of Protection Deputy Orders page for more information.