Lasting Powers of Attorney will help to provide some reassurance for the future
The future of each of us is unknown and sadly, some people in their older years will lose mental capacity. Whilst we all hope this does not happen to our loved ones, if the loss of mental capacity arises, then a Lasting Power of Attorney (“LPA”) provides the opportunity for those who may be concerned about losing their mental capacity to make decisions in the future, to have some say in their future care, such as the type of medical treatment they would want or not want, as well as appointing someone to look after their property and finances. Most LPAs will only become enforceable once a Donor is medically diagnosed as having lost mental capacity.
In the absence of an LPA, a person who loses their mental capacity will have their finances managed by the Court of Protection as opposed to by a loved one
Watson Thomas Solicitors will explain the process of choosing an ‘Attorney’, will provide help and guidance on completing the necessary legal documentation to register your Lasting Powers of Attorney and submit it to the Office of the Public Guardian on your behalf. We can also certify a copy of your Lasting Powers of Attorney certificate if you are unable to do so.
A Property and Financial Affairs LPA must be registered before it can be used. Subject to registration, it can then be used immediately, before loss of mental capacity. A Personal Welfare LPA however, subject to registration, allows your attorney to make decisions on issues of medical treatment and/or daily living decisions only when it has been established that you lack the mental capacity to make the decision yourself at that particular time.
What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document that lets a ‘donor’ appoint someone they trust, an ‘attorney’ to make decisions on their behalf and can be used if the donor becomes unable to make their own decisions.
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney:
1. Health and welfare – this includes making decisions on the donor’s daily routine, medical care, move into a care home and receiving life-sustaining treatment.
2. Property and financial affairs – this includes choosing someone to make decisions about the donor’s money and property and who can take control of paying the bills, collecting benefits and selling the home or assets.
A donor can choose to make one type or both.
Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA)
What is an Enduring Power of Attorney?
New EPAs can no longer be created, however if you have an EPA made before October 2007, either registered or unregistered, it can still continue to be used. LPAs have now replaced EPAs, which only allowed people to appoint Attorneys to make decisions about property and financial matters on their behalf. The new LPAs give more protection and extra options.
If you have already made an EPA and you are still have full mental capacity, you can either replace it with a new Property and Affairs LPA or can keep the existing EPA. You can also make an additional LPA for personal welfare decisions.
If you need legal guidance and support on LPAs, please call us at our Fleet Office on 01252 622422 or our Guildford Office on 01483 320114.