Lasting Power of Attorney gives people the right to make decisions on behalf of another person, usually a relative or loved one. This person is known in legal terms as the ‘donor’, and LPA is put in place in the event that the donor becomes unable to make their own decisions. The person who is given power of attorney is known as the ‘attorney’.
Lasting Power of Attorney covers two separate areas, property and health and welfare. The donor can chose to have both these decisions made by the same person or by different people. They can also chose to have more than one person make each decision. For example, if you have two children, you can make them both LPA of health and welfare and property.
If you for example picked both of your children to be LPA, you can chose to have them make decisions together, ‘jointly’, make some decisions together and some differently, known as ‘jointly and severally’, or some decisions made ‘jointly’ and some decisions ‘jointly and severally’.
Wills and not appointing an LPA
Many of us will be familiar with the importance of drawing up a will in order to bring a brighter financial future for our loved ones, but what happens if we are left mentally incapable of making decisions due to illness or an accident?
If you think that won’t happen to you, you’re hopefully right, but such unfortunate eventualities happen much more often than you might think. If a loved one does not already have power of attorney of your affairs, they will have to go through the Court of Protection to gain this if anything did happen to you.
When to appoint an LPA
If you plan on making a loved one your Lasting Power of Attorney, you must register this with the Office of the Public Guardian to be legally recognised. The donor can register the LPA while they are able to make decisions for themselves, which would make things easier if their mental capacity was to diminish. The person you choose to give power of attorney must be aged over 18. Saga offer more information on the subject and can even advise you on will writing.
The Health and Wellbeing LPA will allow those given the right, the ability to oversee the following:
- Your daily routine (for example eating and what to wear)
- Medical care
- Life-sustaining treatment
- Moving into a care home
The Property LPA are able to handle financial affairs such as:
- Collecting benefits
- Paying bills
- Selling your home