Lasting Powers of Attorney
If you’re worried about losing the ability to manage your money, property and affairs, or who will make decisions about your health and welfare when you are older; you should consider making a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).
An LPA allows someone (the attorney) to make decisions on your behalf, if there comes a time when you (the donor) lack the ‘mental capacity’ to make such decisions for yourself. This could happen to you through old age, illness or injury. An LPA gives you real security for the future and ensures that decisions that have to be made later are made by someone you trust.
Without a LPA, your family and friends will not have legal authority to manage your affairs on your behalf. Having an LPA in place will avoid the need to apply to the Court of Protection for a deputyship order, which can be expensive and time-consuming.
There are two types of LPA:
- LPA for property and financial affairs which covers decisions about the donor’s (the person who gives authority) property and money.
- LPA for health and welfare covers decisions about the donor’s healthcare and personal welfare.
By making a LPA you can choose one or more people that you trust, to make decisions on your behalf about your property and money, healthcare and personal welfare.
Having an LPA is a safe way of maintaining control over decisions made for you because:
- it has to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) before it can be used
- you choose someone to provide a ‘certificate’ (known as a ‘certificate provider), which means they confirm that you understand the significance and purpose of what you’re agreeing to
- you can choose who gets told about your LPA when it is registered (so they have an opportunity to raise concerns)
- your signature and the signatures of your chosen attorneys must be witnessed
- your attorney(s) must follow the Code of Practice of the MCA 2005 and act in your best interests
- you can include certain conditions within the LPA that your attorney will be required by law to abide by
- the OPG provides helpful support and advice