There may be a time when you may need someone to help you manage your property and affairs or personal welfare. This could be due to age, ill health or a loss of capacity. From 1 October 2007, the only option for creating a Power of Attorney which covers mental incapacity is in the form of a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).
An LPA is a legal document that lets you (the Donor – also known as ‘the person giving this Lasting Power of Attorney’) choose a person/persons (Attorney/Attorneys) that you trust to make decisions on your behalf at a future time when you may not be able to make such decisions due to mental incapacity or simply no longer wish to make such decisions.
You can create two types of LPA:
- Property and Financial Affairs LPA
- Health and Welfare LPA
Neither of these documents have any legal standing until they have been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.
Property & Financial Affairs LPA
This allows the Donor to appoint an Attorney to manage their finances and property. An appointed Attorney can make any decision the Donor could make about his or her property and affairs such as:
- Paying bills
- Paying the mortgage
- Collecting your income and benefits
- Operating your bank and building society accounts
- Managing investments
- Buying and selling property
These are all subject to any restrictions or conditions you might have included.
These are also useful documents for business owners who are sole traders, partners and also sole directors/shareholders.
Health & Welfare LPA
This allows the Donor to appoint an Attorney to make decisions on your behalf about your personal welfare requirements including:
- Where you should live and who with
- Day to day care
- Consenting and refusing medical treatment
- Arranging treatments such as dentists, doctors etc
- Life sustaining treatment decisions can also be given to the Attorney, but only if the doctor directs
This document can only be used after you have lost capacity to make your own decisions.
To make a Lasting Power of Attorney, it is not essential to consult a solicitor and the forms can be accessed on the website of the Office of the Public Guardian. They can be far from straightforward however and there are pitfalls. As these are highly important decisions and documents, we would recommend you receive guidance from a solicitor to make sure you fully understand the implications and obligations of these Powers of Attorney.
At Double and Megson, our lawyers have in-depth knowledge in all areas of LPAs and can fully advise you on the benefits of a Lasting Power of Attorney and give advice as to the merits of preparing one in your particular circumstances. Don’t worry if you’ve never discussed LPAs before – our friendly solicitors will put you at ease, explaining everything clearly with no legal jargon.
To arrange a discussion with one of our solicitors call us on Bourne (01778) 423376 or Market Deeping (01778) 341494.
You can also instruct us online. All you have to do is fill out our Contact form providing us with your name, contact information and any other details which may be useful. We will get in touch as soon as possible with an estimate of costs and details of whom to contact at Double & Megson.
If you do not already have a Will then Double and Megson can help you draft a Will that is right for you and your family. We also have in-depth knowledge in all areas of Probate / Administration of Estates.