Lasting Powers Of Attorney (LPA) & Capacity
At any point in your life, there are many reasons why you may need someone else to step in and help deal with your financial and/or health and welfare matters on your behalf. An ordinary Power of Attorney is suitable if you’re temporarily without the capacity to deal with your day to day affairs, and can be appointed if:
- You’re going abroad for an extended period
- You’re hospitalised for the short to medium-term through illness or accident
However, if your capacity is expected to be lost permanently, due to debilitating physical or mental illness, or old age, you can nominate a named individual or individuals (up to 4) to become a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).
Allowing Power of Attorney on a permanent basis, they will look after the best interests of you and your family whenever it’s necessary. It should be noted that any individuals you name must be over 18 and have mental capacity to make their own decisions, in order to enter into the LPA in the first place.
Visit our fees page for more information on our Lasting Power of Attorney & Capacity fees.
What types of LPA are there?
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) and you can choose one or the other, or both depending on your circumstances. You also have the choice of using the same person or people for both types, or nominating different people to look after each one for you. However, there’s a different process in Scotland and Northern Ireland
- Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney
As the most common LPA, this enables your nominated LPAs to act on your behalf to pay bills, set up standing orders or direct debits, pay fees, look after any investments, sell property, and use your bank account to withdraw and deposit money.
- Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney
This LPA enables your nominated LPAs to decide where you live, the type of care you get and where you get it, and whether to continue or discontinue any life-sustaining treatment.
Your next step
We always advise setting up an LPA as soon as possible before any long-term health issues become apparent. That way, you’re in full control over what happens to your own affairs, and who looks after them when you can’t. If you leave it until it’s too late, your mental capacity may be affected and you’ll be unable to provide us with the instructions you’d like.
In those circumstances, a family member, friend or carer’s only option would be to make an application to the court to be appointed as your Deputy, and that can be a time consuming and expensive route to authorisation.