Powers of Attorney
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that allows you to appoint someone else to make decisions on your behalf when you are unable (or unwilling) to do so. This person is called an ‘attorney’ and can sign documents on your behalf.
LPAs can be written at any time (while you still have capacity) but they do need to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before they can be used by your chosen attorney.
There are currently two types of LPA:
Property and Financial Affairs LPA
This lets you appoint someone to make decisions relating to your financial affairs. For example, it allows your chosen attorney to pay bills for you, manage your banking and investments and sell your property. The Property and Financial Affairs LPA can be activated at any time chosen by you. This means you could receive extra help by registering the LPA immediately, or you can restrict its use so it can only be used if you lose mental capacity.
Health and Welfare LPA
This lets you appoint someone to make decisions relating to your health and wellbeing. This includes choices like when to move into a care home or when to refuse life-sustaining treatment. A Health and Welfare LPA can only be activated when you are unable to make these choices yourself.
You can choose to make one or both of these LPAs.
When should I make an LPA?
An LPA is often used by elderly people who no longer wish to manage their own affairs, or are incapable of doing so. But LPAs can be set up at any age, and could be useful if, for example, you went abroad for an extended period, or were hospitalised unexpectedly and needed someone to take care of your finances until you had recovered.
Please note it can take up to 12 weeks to register an LPA, so don’t leave registration until the last minute.
Who should I appoint to be my attorney?
Many people choose to appoint a family member as their attorney, but you could also appoint a friend, solicitor or accountant. Attorneys have to be over 18 years old, and no matter who you choose it should be someone you trust, who will act in your best interests and who is capable of making important decisions.
What if I have an Enduring Power of Attorney?
You can no longer make a new Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) but those created before 1st October 2007 are still valid. The EPA will, however, need to be registered when the named individual loses their decision-making abilities.
If you have any more questions or would like to make an appointment, please contact us.
Lasting Powers of Attorney