Lasting Power of Attorney

Why should I make a Lasting Power of Attorney ?

If you care about what happens to your assets after you die, you should care even more about them whilst you are still alive.

What if I don't have an LPA-Property & Affairs?

If you do not have an LPA-PA, then if for any reason you suddenly become unable to manage your own affairs, e.g.

  • You suffer an accident and are confined to bed or hospital
  • You suffer a more serious accident which permanently incapacitates you
  • You become mentally incapacitated as a result of old age or for some other reason

... then the only way that your financial affairs can be managed is by an application (by a relative or other person close to you) to the Court of Protection. This can take up to 12 months and cost around £1,000 (or even more) to process - during which time your finances could be seriously damaged - and the person authorised to handle your affairs on your behalf is not only unlikely to be who you would have chosen, but may even be a Court Official - who can (and will) charge every time he/she acts for you.

However, if you do have an LPA-PA, your chosen representatives can act for you straightaway if you become unable to handle your own affairs.

Note that you must be mentally capable to make an LPA-PA. Therefore - just like a Will - if you don't have one then by the time you really need one it's too late.

What if I don't have an LPA-Health & Welfare?

The consequences of not having an LPA-HW are similar to those of not having an LPA-PA:-

If for any reason you suddenly become unable to make your own decisions, e.g.

  • You suffer an accident and are confined to bed or hospital
  • You suffer a more serious accident which permanently incapacitates you
  • You become mentally incapacitated as a result of old age or for some other reason

... then an application has to be made (by a relative or other person close to you) to the Court of Protection. This can take up to 12 months and cost around £1,000 (or even more) to process - during which time no important decisions regarding your healthcare could be made other than by a doctor treating you - and the person eventually appointed to make decisions on your behalf is not only unlikely to be who you would have chosen, but may even be a Court Official - who can (and will) charge every time he/she acts for you.

However, if you do have an LPA-HW, your chosen representatives can make decisions for you straightaway if you become unable to make them yourself.

Note that you must be mentally capable to make an LPA-HW. Therefore - just like a Will and an LPA-PA - if you don't have one then by the time you really need one it's too late.
 

Exactly what can my Attorneys do?

What your Attorney(s) can do will depend on the powers that you give them when making your LPA-HW.

If you include no restrictions in your LPA-HW, then your Attorney(s) will be able to make any decisions regarding your personal welfare that you would have been able to make, such as :-

  • giving or refusing consent to particular types of health care, including medical treatment decisions
  • you staying in your own home, perhaps with help and support from social services
  • you moving into residential housing and choosing the right care home for you
  • more day-to-day issues, for example about your diet, your dress or your daily routine

However, they cannot just do whatever they like. They will only be able to make decisions that are in your best interests and they will only be able to make them if they are able to establish that you are unable to make them yourself. They must follow the principles of the Mental Capacity Act at all times when acting.

You can also specify yourself what your Attorney(s) can do. All you have to do is specify 'restrictions and/or conditions' when creating the LPA-HW - for example, you may include a restriction that your Attorney(s) cannot make decisions about the treatment of a particular illness you may have.

Additionally, you are able to specify in your LPA-HW whether or not your Attorney(s) are permitted to give or refuse consent to life-sustaining treatment on your behalf. There is a special section for this in the LPA-HW document, which you sign separately when signing the LPA-HW.

 

For more information please contact us