Lasting Power of Attorney
Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal tool that allows you to appoint someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf if you lose mental capacity. At Cartwright King, we can help you throughout the process of appointing your chosen attorney(s).
Understanding Lasting Power of Attorney
There are two different types of LPA: a property and financial affairs LPA, and a health and welfare LPA.
A Property and Financial Affairs LPA
This will allow your chosen attorney to cover decisions about your finances and your property. This can include paying your bills, collecting your income and arranging the sale of your house. You can choose to place conditions on what they will be able to do, and you can make clear that they will only be able to make decisions on your behalf when you are deemed to no longer have the capacity to make them for yourself.
A Health and Welfare LPA
This will allow your chosen attorney to cover decisions about your health and welfare. This could include deciding where you live, how your day to daycare is carried out or what specific medical treatments you receive. You can always allow your attorney(s) to give or refuse consent to life-sustaining treatments on your behalf when you can no longer make that decision for yourself.
You can have separate attorneys for these different areas, or you can appoint the same individual for both. If you choose to have more than one attorney, then you must also decide on how they will act. They could act:
Jointly – this means that they must always act together and therefore must agree on all decisions and sign documents together.
Jointly and Severally – this means that the separate attorneys have the choice to act together or alone.
As long as you are over the age of 18, then you can appoint an LPA at any age, as long as you are still deemed to have mental capacity.
Who Can Be An Attorney?
Anyone that you trust to be in charge of your decisions can be your attorney, as long as they are over the age of 18. Your attorney can be a relative or a close friend. They can also be an accountant or a solicitor, but it is important to understand how a professional will charge for their time. Additionally, you can appoint a replacement attorney who can step in if one of your original attorneys stops acting.
I Have a Will – Do I Still Need an LPA?
Even if you already have a Will, this will not account for the eventuality of you still being alive but not being able to make your own decisions. A Will only allows for ‘executors’ to make decisions after your death.
If you need assistance with Lasting Power of Attorney, get in touch today for expert help and advice.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is Lasting Power of Attorney?
Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal tool that can give another trusted person the legal authority to make choices for someone if they become incapable of making the decisions for themselves.
Do You Need a Lawyer For Power of Attorney?
You don’t necessarily need a lawyer or solicitor when obtaining Power of Attorney, but it is recommended that you seek legal guidance when applying to make sure that the process is as straightforward as possible.
Can I Dictate When Lasting Power of Attorney Comes Into Effect?
Because of the nature of Lasting Power of Attorney, when you are judged to have lost mental capacity you will not be able to stop your chosen attorney making your decisions for you.
Can You Appoint More Than One Person to Have Power of Attorney?
You can appoint more than one person to have Power of Attorney, but you must specify whether they can act individually or whether they must act jointly.
What is the Difference Between Power of Attorney and Lasting Power of Attorney?
The difference between Power of Attorney and Lasting Power of Attorney is not necessarily comparable. It is just that the addition of ‘Lasting’ references the fact that the chosen attorney can make decisions for the donor when they have lost mental capacity but are still alive.
What is the Role of the Attorney?
When the donor has lost mental capacity, the role of the Attorney will be to legally manage matters relating to finances, or the health and welfare of the donor.