Lasting Power of Attorney
A lasting power of attorney is a legal document that allows someone to make decisions for you, or act on your behalf, if you're no longer able to due to ill health or accident for example, or if you no longer want to make your own financial decisions. When you make your Lasting power of Attorney you must be over 18 and have the mental capacity (the ability to make your own decisions).
Choice not Chance
The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) has launched a public awareness campaign “planning for the future” encouraging people to plan for themselves and their families’ futures. The message of the campaign “Make the choice. Don’t take the chance” is aimed at the 25-50 age groups, encouraging them to think about these issues that are so often left unaddressed.
Although forms can easily be downloaded online, they need to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) to be effective. Without seeking legal advice, there is the danger of making errors of judgment in drafting the forms, which can make life extremely stressful for your attorneys in the future or even cause the OPG to reject it.
The document can be used immediately once registered. It can be used with your permission for financial decisions when you still have mental capacity, or it can take effect should you lose your mental capacity.
What are the different types of Lasting Power of Attorney?
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney.
1. LPA for property and financial affairs – these documents allow the named attorney(s) to manage your financial and property matters including managing bank or building society accounts paying bills collecting a pension or benefits if necessary, selling your home
2. LPA for health and welfare – these documents allow the named attorney(s) to manage your health and personal welfare decisions, such as consenting to medical treatment, deciding where you live and can include the authority for your attorneys to make life sustaining treatment decision
Why you should make an LPA
It is vital to ensure you have made an LPA to guarantee you are looked after in the event that you are no longer able to make your own decisions. Therefore, if you are incapable of managing your own affairs, someone you trust, and love can make these life altering decisions of your behalf. If you do not have an LPA, the Court of Protection will intervene and appoint someone to manage your financial affairs for you, this may be someone you do not know or someone you would not want to manage your affairs. Without an LPA Health & Welfare in place, any decisions regarding your health or where you were to live etc. would be made by social services ormedical staff , if your family or loved ones object to their decisions then an application would need to be made to the Court of Protection for a Judge to decide, a lengthy and costly procedure with often, undesirable outcomes.
Speak to our LPA Solicitors
To find out more about making a Lasting Power of Attorney, you can speak to our expert LPA solicitors who will be able to guide you through the process and discuss the most appropriate solution for you and your circumstances. Call us on 0208 974 7490 or visit our website to get in touch today.