Lasting Powers of Attorney
What is a lasting power of attorney?
A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a legal document that allows you to appoint others to help you make decisions or to make decisions on your behalf. There are two types of lasting powers of attorney, one for property and financial affairs and another for health and welfare decisions.
An LPA is a document that you prepare whilst you have ‘mental capacity’, in other words – while you are still capable of making decisions for yourself. This is indicated by your ability to provide clear instructions as to whom you would like to appoint and to demonstrate that you understand the consequences of making this document.
An early diagnosis of dementia or other illness may not necessarily prevent you from being able to make a lasting power of attorney. In these circumstances it is essential to seek legal advice as soon as possible.
What is the difference between a lasting power of attorney and deputyship?
If someone loses capacity and they do not have a lasting power of attorney, it may be necessary for the Court of Protection to appoint someone, known as a deputy, on their behalf. Having an LPA in place allows you to choose who will be responsible for managing your affairs when you are no longer able. This may not be whom the Court would appoint.
Can I use a living will to make decisions about the future?
An advanced decision, often known as a ‘living will’, is a document which sets out your wishes if you want to refuse a certain type of treatment in the future. This can only be made if you are over 18 years old and of full mental capacity. Generally, we would recommend a lasting power of attorney for health and welfare in preference to an advanced decision as this is now the more recognised document.
If you are considering putting an LPA in place, we offer a free initial consultation with a specialist lawyer to discuss your needs.
If you appoint us to deal with your lasting power of attorney, a named lawyer will deal with your case from start to finish, and a member of the team will always be available to speak to on a day-to-day basis.
Contact us for a quote or to book your free consultation meeting.
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