Lasting Powers Of Attorney

A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document in which a person gives another person or persons (the Attorney) authority to make certain decisions on his or her behalf.

TYPES OF LASTING POWERS OF ATTORNEY

There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney: –

1.       A Property & Financial Affairs LPA – this gives your Attorney(s) legal authority to deal with all of your property and financial affairs subject to any restrictions you may specify.

2.       A Health & Welfare LPA – this gives your Attorney(s) legal authority to make health and welfare decisions on your behalf such as: –

  • Giving or refusing consent to medical treatment including, if you wish the consent or refusal to life sustaining treatment
  • Deciding where you should live
  • Day to day decisions such as diet, dress or daily routine

YOUR ATTORNEY

A Power of Attorney is an important document and you should take care whom you appoint as they should be trustworthy and have the appropriate skills to make the proposed decisions.

If you appoint more than one Attorney, you can appoint them to act together (jointly) or to act together or alone (jointly and severally).  You may even appoint them to act jointly for some things and jointly and severally for others, although this should only be done with advice, as it may cause problems when using the power.

You may also choose to appoint a replacement attorney to act if you original attorney dies or is unable to continue to act on your behalf.

WHEN CAN THE ATTORNEY ACT?

The Attorney will only be able to act for you once the document has:

1.       been signed by you and your Attorney and

2.       certified by a qualified person and

3.       registered with the Office of the Public Guardian

Once complete the Property & Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney can be used both while you have capacity to act and if, or when, you lack mental capacity to make financial decisions yourself.

The Health & Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney can only be used if you lack the mental capacity to make a welfare or medical decision yourself.

EXISTING ENDURING POWERS OF ATTORNEY

Any Enduring Power of Attorney validly make before 1st October 2007 will continue to be valid but only in respect of your property and affairs.  If you wish to give authority over your health and welfare issues you will need to make a Health & Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney.

WHAT HAPPENS IF YOU HAVE NOT MADE A LASTING POWER OF ATTORNEY OR AN ENDURING POWER OF ATTORNEY?

If you lack capacity to make a financial decision then it may be necessary to make an application to the Court of Protection for an appropriate order, such as appointing another person to make decisions on your behalf. This is both very costly and time consuming.

Although care and treatment decisions can be made on your behalf without a Lasting Power of Attorney or the need for a Court application, Health & Welfare Lasting Powers of Attorney are becoming increasingly important (see attached article). Disputes between family members or between family members and healthcare or social works are becoming increasingly common for example when deciding where you should live.

If you have any queries or wish to discuss your requirements please contact

Emma Kirkwood on 01782 662424

or email:

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