Why make a Lasting Power of Attorney?
You Decide Who Decides
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a document that gives a person or people (the Attorney(s) powers to make decisions on behalf of another person (the Donor). An LPA is made in preparation for if they lose their capacity. There are two different types of LPA’s.
Property & Financial Affairs LPA
This covers decisions about the donor’s financial affairs and their property. This can be used whilst the donor still has capacity if they wish, which is very useful if the donor has or develops mobility issues and if they lose capacity. The attorney will be able to:
Buy, sell or rent property out
Operate the donor’s bank account and invest any savings
Deal with their Financial Advisor regarding their Pensions, Investments, Life Assurance etc
Claim welfare benefits or pensions and receive income for the donor
Deal with the donor’s tax affairs
Pay the donor’s mortgage, rent and household expenses
Insure/insurance claims, maintain or repair the donor’s property
This covers decisions about the donor’s personal welfare and health. This can only be used once the donor has lost capacity. The attorney will be able to:
Make decisions on where the donor is living and on their day to day care
Arrange any medical, dental or optical care for the donor
Consent to or refuse any medical treatment including life sustaining treatment, if the donor wishes them to do so when making the LPA
Decide on the donor’s diet, clothing and exercise etc
The possibility of losing mental capacity has increased due to people living longer. Although, capacity could be lost at any time due to an accident, a stroke or degenerative condition such as Alzheimer’s. If capacity is lost and there is no LPA in place, family or friends will have to apply to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship. This is a lengthy process and costs much more than registering an LPA and incurs ongoing costs, whereas an LPA doesn’t. If assets are held in joint names and one person loses capacity, the other will not be able to access the jointly owned assets without an LPA or Deputyship.
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