LASTING POWER OF ATTORNEY
(formally known as an Enduring Power of Attorney)
If there comes a time in your life when you are no longer able to look after your affairs due to a sudden accident, illness or gradually advancing age, you may wish for a close relative or friend to assist you in paying your bills, to manage your bank accounts or to speak on your behalf on medical matters.
None of us know what the future holds for us, but we can be prepared. By taking out a Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney and/or a Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney you would be appointing somebody who you trust to look after you should the need arise. An LPA is a legal document that can only be completed whilst you have the mental capacity to do so. So putting it off now might mean that it cannot be done later.
A Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney allows your attorney(s) to look after all or just some of your financial and property affairs. This may include paying your bills, collecting your income and benefits.
A Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney allows your Attorney(s) to make decisions on your behalf about your personal welfare. This may include where you live, your diet, daily routines, whether to give or refuse consent to medical treatment. At all times the attorney is expected to have your best interest at heart.
What would happen if you lost your mental capacity and needed to appoint an attorney? If you became unable to manage your affairs and didn’t have an LPA your relatives would need to apply to the Court of Protection so that a Deputy could be appointed to look after your property, affairs and/or personal welfare. It is the court who would make the choice of Deputy. This is a far more costly and a more lengthy process.