A lot of people hear the phrase “Lasting Power of Attorney” but often find themselves asking, what exactly is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
To put it simply, a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) refers to a document that, once created, allows a person or people to manage your affairs on your behalf should you be unable to do so for yourself. An LPA is a fundamental document which provides people with the comfort of knowing that if they no longer have capacity to look after themselves, their affairs will be taken care of by someone who they trust.
Lasting Power of Attorney Explained
To break the title “Lasting Power of Attorney” down:-
Lasting:- the powers (see below) conferred on the person or people who are to manage your affairs lasts should you lose capacity to make decisions for yourself until you die.
Powers:- the authority conferred by you on the person or people who are appointed to manage your affairs.
Attorney:- the person or people you choose to act on your behalf. This is key. You decide who is to act, rather than this decision being made for you as can so often happen if you should lose capacity having not put in place a Lasting Power of Attorney. The Mental Capacity Act states that your Attorneys should act in your best interests all at times when managing your affairs. It is therefore important to consider carefully who you wish to appoint.
There are two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney:-
Property and Financial affairs:- this relates to the management of your property i.e. home and finances i.e. bank/building society accounts.
Health and Welfare:- this relates to the decisions concerning your healthcare and medical treatment together with day-to-day decisions such as your diet, dress or daily routine.
Either Lasting Power of Attorney can only be created if you have the capacity to give instructions for its creation. Therefore, do not delay in obtaining advice. You want to be the one making in control of who looks after your affairs if you can’t so do not leave it too late otherwise the decision may be taken out of your hands.