What is a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) and what are the potential benefits of holding one.

What is an LPA?

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that lets you (the ‘donor’) appoint one or more people (known as ‘attorneys’) to help you make decisions or to make decisions on your behalf.

An LPA would give more control over what happens to you if you had an accident or an illness and can’t make your own decisions if you lack mental capacity. The donor needs to be 18 or over and have mental capacity when making an LPA.

Two types of LPAs which would give power to your attorney enabling them to make decisions such as:

Health and welfare

– Daily routine; washing, dressing, eating etc

– Medical care

– Moving into a care home

– Life-sustaining treatment

It can only be used when you are unable to make your own decisions.

Property and financial affairs

– Managing a bank or building society account

– Paying bills

– Collecting benefits or a pension

– Selling your home

It can be used as soon as it is registered, with your permission.

You can choose to make one type or both

How an LPA will naturally end;

– If your attorney loses the ability to make decisions, in other words they ‘lose mental capacity’

– If your attorney divorces you or ends your civil partnership if they are your husband, wife or partner

– If your attorney becomes bankrupt or they are subject to a Debt Relief Order

– If you attorney is removed by the Court of Protection

– If your attorney dies.

Amendments to an LPA

You can change your LPA at any time if you hold mental capacity even after it has been registered. However, if you want to add an additional attorney you will need to end your LPA and make another.

What should you think about?

We would highly recommend people seek professional advice from their solicitor regarding an LPA. However, an LPA can be created through the www.gov.uk website and costs £82 to register each LPA. You can simply cancel an existing LPA if you no longer require it or if you wish to make a new one. We would however suggest that you seek suitably qualified advice from your solicitor before taking any action.

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