What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
This is a legal document in which you appoint a person or people to make decisions on your behalf in case a situation makes you unable to do so. (Such as stroke, accident, illness). The person/s appointed are known as your “attorney”.
There are two types of LPA;
Property and Financial Affairs LPA
Once your LPA has been registered, your attorneys can make property and financial affairs decisions for you. They can manage your property, write cheques, pay bills, collect benefits etc. They can do this if you lack the capacity to do so or if you do have the capacity to do so but you could be having mobility issues or have difficulty talking on the telephone.
Health and Welfare LPA
Once this document has been registered (at the Office of the Public Guardian), your attorneys can only make decisions on things such as Medical treatment, accepting or refusing types of healthcare, decisions regarding “life sustaining” treatment. Your diet, dress and daily routine.
What happens if I don’t have an LPA in place and I lose Capacity?
In this case certain relatives may nominate themselves to the Office of the Public Guardian to become your attorneys. The whole process is lengthy which can cause some distress and also far more expensive than having LPAs nominating them written in advance. Also, restrictions are placed on the attorneys such as limits of money amounts handled and keeping records of everything that they have to do on your behalf. If LPA’s are available it can save a great deal of time, money and distress.
How to make an LPA
You must be 18 or over and must have the mental capacity at the time the document is written. They do require a bit of thought and this is where professional advice is invaluable. I can also act as the certificate provider for you.