Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)
An LPA allows you to choose someone to make important decisions on your behalf, should you no longer have the mental capacity to do so yourself.
There are two different types of LPA:
- Health and welfare
- Financial and property affairs
An LPA gives the person (or people) you would like, the right to make decisions regarding your property and personal affairs and / or your personal welfare should you lose the ability to do so for yourself. Decisions about care and treatment can be covered by the health and welfare LPA.
How to set up an LPA
You can make an LPA on-line, using the forms prepared by the government. If you feel confident about competing the forms and are setting up something simple, you can complete them yourself, but you must remember this is a powerful document which hands over important decision making, such as: where you should live, how you should be treated medically and managing your money. If you want to take legal advice, then most solicitors offer this service.
To take effect, LPAs must be registered with the Office of Public Guardian, which can take up to 10 weeks.
You must be deemed to have mental capacity (the ability to make your own decisions) when you make your LPA.
Choosing your Attorney
You can choose more than one Attorney, as long as they are 18 or over and has the mental capacity to make their own decisions. It can be a:
- husband / wife or partner.
- professional (i.e. solicitor)
It is important that you choose someone who knows you well and you trust will act in your best interests.
When can an Attorney act?
An Attorney for health and welfare can only act when you lack the capacity to make a particular decision for yourself. You may be able to make some decisions but not others. Your Attorney(s) must help you make as many of your own decisions as you can.
An Attorney for property and affairs can be used when you still have mental capacity unless you have specified otherwise.
To find out more information
You can contact:
Citizens Advice Bureau
We also have a booklet which provides information and advice to help you plan for the future and help make life easier for those you love. To request a copy, please call us on 01223 675881 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org