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What is a Lasting Power of Attorney & Who Needs One?

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney & Who Needs One?

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), is a legal document that appoints another person, or people, to make decisions on your behalf. You are referred to as the ‘Donor’, and the person, or people, that you appoint are referred to as your ‘Attorney’ or ‘Attorneys’.

In order to set up a Lasting Power of Attorney you and the person, or people, that you appoint must be over 18, and you must have the mental capacity to make the decision to set it up.

Why Set Up a Lasting Power of Attorney?

If you no longer want to make decisions about your property and financial affairs, or you want to make sure that you have someone you trust making decisions on your behalf regarding your property and financial affairs, and your health and welfare if you were to lose mental capacity to make decisions, then you need to set up a Lasting Power of Attorney.

Who Needs a Lasting Power of Attorney?

Lasting Powers of Attorney are important for people who know that they will lose the mental capacity to make decisions on their own behalf in the future, perhaps due to some debilitating illness such as Alzheimer's.  However, it is also important to recognise that something unexpected can happen to anyone, leaving them without the mental capacity to make decisions or the physical ability to deal with their financial affairs.

A Lasting Power of Attorney then is appropriate for anyone over the age of 18, with the mental capacity to set one up, who wants peace of mind that they have made sure they are taken care of in the future.  This is why Lasting Powers of Attorney are often set up at the same time as people make their Will.

 

Types of Lasting Power of Attorney

There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney.  You can set up either one, or both.

Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney

A Property and Financial Affairs LPA gives your attorney/s the power to make decisions about your money and your property for you.  This could include some or all of the following (you can decide which): managing your bank or building society accounts, paying bills on your behalf, collecting benefits or a pension on your behalf, and selling your home.

You decide if a Property and Financial Affairs LPA can be used as soon as it’s registered, or whether it is only to come into effect if you were to lose mental capacity to make decisions.

Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney

A Health and Welfare LPA gives your Attorney/s the power to make decisions about your daily routine (eg. washing, dressing, eating), your medical care, moving into a care home or arranging care at home, and life-sustaining medical treatment.

A Health and Welfare LPA only comes into effect if you were to lose mental capacity to make decisions.

How to Set Up a Lasting Power of Attorney

An official document that states who you wish to be your Attorney/s and sets out your wishes for your Lasting Power of Attorney must be sent to the Office of the Public Guardian to be registered.  This document can be completed on your behalf and registered by a solicitor.

If yours is a complicated case, you have very specific wishes, or you want to ensure that there is confirmation that you were of sound mental capacity at the time that your Lasting Power of Attorney was completed, you should consult a solicitor before proceeding any further.

Other Types of Power of Attorney:

Ordinary Power of Attorney

An Ordinary Power of Attorney gives your attorney/s the power to make decisions about your financial affairs for a temporary period. It would end if you were to lose mental capacity to make decisions.

Enduring Power of Attorney

A Lasting Power of Attorney became the replacement for an Enduring Power of Attorney in October 2007. Enduring Powers of Attorney made before October 2007 remain valid and must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian if the donor has become or is becoming mentally incapable of managing their property and financial affairs.

If you or someone you know feel you may need a Lasting Power of Attorney, our Wills & Probate team have extensive experience in setting these up. Call us today on Bradford 01274 735511, Ilkley 01943 601173 or Bingley 01274 723858 to discuss your individual requirements.

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