Nowadays a great number of us think and talk about, what would happen if we lost the mental capacity to do the things we usually do as a matter course? However, these thoughts and conversation’s generally don’t tend to include what would happen if we lost such capacity without first organising, arranging and generally ‘sorting out’ our everyday affairs.
Where you can no longer make decisions, the help you need can be wide-ranging and miscellaneous. For example; you may need help managing your finances or you may need medical help if you suffer a stroke or heart attack. There are no precise circumstances.
One of the main advantages of making a Lasting Power of Attorney (‘LPA’) is that the Donor (the person making the LPA) retains total control, making decisions and directing his / her appointed attorney(s) as to how he / she wants them to help. Whilst the donor retains capacity, the attorney(s) can only act with the authority of the donor
What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
An ‘LPA’ is an important legal document which enables a person who has capacity and is over 18 (‘the Donor’) to choose another person or people (‘the Attorney(s)’) to make decisions on their behalf. With an LPA, your chosen Attorney(s) will be able to:-
- Manage your financial and health and welfare affairs in the event of an accident or incapacity
- Make decisions in accordance with your wishes with regard to any medical treatment
- Make sure that any decisions made on your behalf, are what you would have wanted
- Make sure that any care you receive complies with what you would want and expect
- Ensure your chosen Attorney(s) make decisions on your behalf, not the Court of Protection.
The Property and Financial Affairs LPA
The Property and Financial Affairs LPA is designed to allow the donor (you), to make decisions about your finances (e.g. selling your home or other Property or managing your Bank Account) by appointing an Attorney(s), to make decisions on your behalf. The information you provide by answering the questions in the LPA Form, enables you to ‘make the rules’ which your Attorney(s) will have to follow. Your Attorney(s) may only use the LPA after it has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (‘the OPG’).
The Health and Welfare LPA
The Health and Welfare LPA is designed to enable you to make decisions about your health and personal welfare (e.g. where to live, your day‐to‐day care, and having medical treatment) Your Attorney(s) will be able to make decisions on your behalf where you lack capacity to make those decisions yourself and as with the Property and Financial Affairs LPA, your Attorney(s) may only use the completed LPA after it has been registered with the OPG.