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Firstly, what is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that allows someone to appoint another individual that they trust to manage their affairs should they lose the ability to make their own decisions. Mental capacity can be lost in a variety of unfortunate circumstances, these can include developing dementia, having a stroke or getting into a serious accident.

If someone were to have any of these things happen to them, or anything else that would cause them to lose mental capacity, they would need someone that they trust to manage their finances and make other important decisions on their behalf. The person that the LPA is intended for is known as the Donor and the person appointed to manage the Donor’s affairs is known as the Attorney.

This does not mean, however, that the Donor instantly loses the power to make their own decisions. LPA’s can be chosen to take effect either before OR after the Donor loses mental capacity.

The Attorney also has to follow any directions and preferences that are outlined in the LPA. If they make any decisions that are in their own best interest and not the Donors, they can be investigated by the Office of the Public Guardian and removed as an Attorney. They can also be forced to repay the Donor’s money if they misuse it.

There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney, these being Financial and Health and Welfare

Financial

As the name suggests, the Financial LPA allows the Attorney to manage the Donor’s finances should they lose capacity. Common aspects of the Donor’s finances that an Attorney will have to manage include:

  • Buying or selling a property
  • Claiming and using all benefits, pensions, allowances etc.
  • Paying the Donor’s mortgage, rent and household expenses
  • Dealing with tax affairs
  • Paying for private medical care and residential care or nursing home fees

Health & Welfare

The Health & Welfare LPA is also fairly self-explanatory and allows the Attorney to make decisions and manage affairs such as:

  • Where the Donor should live and who they should live with
  • The Donor’s day to day care
  • Who the Donor may have contact with
  • Whether the Donor should take part in any social, leisure or educational activities
  • Life sustaining treatment decisions

If someone were to lose mental capacity and did not have an LPA in place, their loved ones would have to apply for Deputyship through the court system. This is a long and expensive process that can add unnecessary stress to what is already likely to be a stressful and upsetting situation.

Many people put off arranging a Lasting Power of Attorney until they are older. However, the capacity to make your own decisions can unfortunately be lost at any age  due to events such as a stroke, coma, concussion, brain injury and a wide variety of other health problems.

There’s no specific age when you should consider making a Power of Attorney. Young people can lose capacity through accidents. But if someone is diagnosed with a condition likely to cause loss of capacity, they may be well advised to think about who they want to make decisions for them when they can no longer do so.” – Age UK

Anyone over the age of 18 can set up a Lasting Power of Attorney and we strongly advise that you do so.

If you would like to know more about Lasting Power of Attorney, you can read more and watch our video explaining the subject in more detail here

Throughout October, we are offering our professional and personal Lasting Power of Attorney service for just £100 per LPA! (usually £150). To take advantage of this short term offer, click here