As many people now live longer more people are having Lasting Powers of Attorney (“LPAs”) prepared so that a relative or close friend can be appointed as their Attorney and make decisions on their behalf if they lose mental capacity. People can lose mental capacity at any age due to accident or illness, but it is more common in your later years especially if you suffer from Alzheimer’s Disease, stoke or similar illnesses (please note that if a person has already lost mental capacity, they will not be able to make an LPA – See reference to Court Protection below)
There are two types of LPA
Property & Financial – this covers decisions about paying bills, applying for welfare benefits, dealing with care home fees, investing savings and buying or selling property. You can also decide when this type of LPA becomes effective, i.e. either from the date it is lodged with the Office of the Public Guardian (“OPG”) or when you have lost mental capacity.
Health & Welfare – this deals with such matters as what treatment, care or medication you should receive and where you wish to live (i.e. stay in your own home or move to a care home etc) This type of LPA only become effective when you lose mental capacity.
You can also give guidance or put restrictions on how your Attorney should use the LPA if you wish to do so. You can also notify other people, if you wish to, that you are making an LPA. Once completed, the LPA is the registered at the OPG. If you still have mental capacity once your LPA has been registered, your Attorney still has to consult you about any decisions and they are legally required to act in your best interests at all times.
LPA’s are more expensive than the previous Enduring Powers of Attorney as the form is longer and they have to be registered before they are valid. However, they are cheaper and easier than applying to the Court of Protection which is the procedure required if the person has already lost mental capacity.
If you have any questions or would like to make an appointment please contact us today.
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