What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
Why is it amongst the most important documents that you should have?
An LPA is a document which gives specified powers to trusted people of your choice, known as your Attorneys.
There are two kinds of LPAs:
- LPA for Health & Welfare
- LPA for Property & Financial Affairs
LPA for Health & Welfare
The "Lasting power of attorney – Health and Welfare", deals with matters relating to your personal welfare, i.e. your social and health care needs.
If in the future you lack the ability to look after your own personal welfare, this document will entitle your personal welfare attorney(s) to do the following types of things :
• Deciding where you live.
• Making day-to-day decisions, what you will eat or what clothes you will wear.
• Making decisions about what medical care you will receive, including (if you agree to it in the LPA) whether or not you will receive life-sustaining treatment. (aka Living Will or Advanced Directive)
• Deciding when and where you will go on holiday.
• Deciding what social activities you might participate in.
Your attorneys are restricted from doing any of the following:
• Consent to place a child up for adoption or consent to the adoption of a child
• Consent to sexual relations
• Give you medical treatment for a mental disorder or consent to you being given medical treatment for a mental disorder if your treatment is regulated by Part 4 of the Mental Health Act 1983
• Decide to vote on your behalf
• Consent to marriage or civil partnership
• Consent to a decree of divorce or dissolution of a civil partnership on the basis of two years’ separation
When it comes into effect
Your "Lasting power of attorney - Health and Welfare” must be registered before it can be used. However, after the document is registered, your attorney(s) cannot begin to act on your behalf until you have lost capacity to make decisions for yourself.
It is wise therefore to register the document as soon as possible so that it will be ready for use when your attorneys need to use it.
LPA for Property & Financial Affairs
The "Lasting power of attorney - Property and Financial Affairs" deals with matters relating to your financial affairs.
If someday you lack capacity to look after your own financial affairs, this document will entitle your property and affairs attorney(s) to do the following types of things:
• Opening, closing or operating bank accounts
• Claiming and receiving on your behalf, for example, all pensions, benefits, allowances, services, financial contributions, repayments, rebates
• Making all tax returns and adjusting and settling any claim for tax
• Paying your household expenses
• Buying, leasing, selling property
• Paying for private medical care and residential care costs
When it comes into effect
The "Lasting power of attorney - Property and Financial Affairs" comes into effect as soon as it is registered with the Public Guardian unless you specify in the document that you don't want it to come into effect until after you lose capacity. This is different from the "Lasting power of attorney - Personal welfare" which can only be used after you have lost the capacity to make decisions on your own.
How Protect Will Writing can help with your Lasting Power of Attorney documents
Writing an LPA can be a daunting process and, as with any legal documents, it's important that you get it right.
Owen can help you draft and submit your LPAs, as well as notifying and explaining the role of Attorney to your chosen representatives.
We will identify your needs and ensure that we record your wishes accurately, taking you through each choice so you fully understand the document.
We will liaise with your chosen Attorneys to ensure that they know their role, when they are able to act and to make sure that they complete all the relevant paperwork accurately.
Owen will compile all the documentation and ensure its accuracy prior to submitting the documents to the Office of the Public Guardian.
This is a process that can take several weeks to complete and must be done in advance of any person losing capacity. Without it, you could be in a situation where no one can access bank accounts or liaise with mortgage companies as the capable relatives do not have consent.
Contact us today to write your Lasting Power of Attorney and protect your legacy.