What is a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)?

A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows an individual to appoint a trusted person, otherwise known as an Attorney, to make decisions for you, or act on your behalf if you are no longer able to. There are two types of LPAs; health and welfare and property and financial.

1. Property and Financial Affairs: This type of LPA can take effect immediately or only to be effective if mental capacity is lost. This allows the Attorney to deal with all financial affairs such as:

  •  Transfers of money
  •  Paying bills
  •  Selling property
  •  Closing bank accounts

2. Health and Welfare: This type of power can only become effective once mental capacity is lost. It allows the Attorney(s) to make decisions on:

  •  Choosing doctors and dentists
  •  Consent or refusal of life sustaining treatment
  •  Where to live
Where an individual should live and health decisions such as who the doctor/dentist should be. One of the most important aspects is the person in making the power is able to state whether the Attorney will have the power to consent to or refuse life sustaining treatment on behalf of the individual.
Why make an LPA ?
Mental or physical incapacity, such as a stroke or dementia can hit at any time in life. Younger people can also become incapacitated through an accident or sudden illness. We recommend everyone should have a LPA in place to ease the potential burden on your loved ones. If you make a LPA whilst you have the capacity to do so, you can appoint your own chosen trustworthy Attorney, something which may not be available to you once capacity is lost.
What happens if you don’t have a lasting power of attorney?

If you do not have a Lasting Power of Attorney in place and you are no longer able to make decisions, an application will have to be made to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship order. A family member or close friend may apply to take over your matters however ultimately it will be at the Court’s discretion whether they grant that person deputy or not. This can be an extremely stressful process at a difficult time. An application to the Court also costs thousands of pounds. Making a LPA is a much cheaper and stress free option.

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