Wills and Probate - Lasting Power of Attorney
You might want to prepare for a time when you can no longer make or communicate your decisions because of an illness or injury.
The Mental Capacity Act 2005 provides a framework to help people make their own decisions and to make clear what actions carers and family can take.
Property and affairs LPAs
You can set up a Lasting Power of Attorney to give others authority to deal with your finances. The Lasting Power of Attorney cannot be used until it is registered at the Office of the Public Guardian, which can be done at any time. Under a property and affairs Lasting Power of Attorney your attorney(s) can make decisions on your behalf even when you still have mental capacity. You can appoint more than one attorney. You can specify that they must act together on all decisions, or you can give each of them the power to act independently. The types of decisions and actions that could be covered by a property and affairs LPA include:
- buying or selling property
- investing your money
- paying your bills
- giving people access to your financial information
Personal welfare LPAs
This can only be used once it has been registered at the Office of the Public Guardian and if you have lost mental capacity to make that particular decision about your care and treatment yourself. The types of decisions and actions that could be covered include:
- whether you continue to live in your own home, perhaps with support from social services, or whether residential care would be more appropriate for you
- whether or not you should have a certain type of medical treatment
- what you should eat, for example, if you have a special diet
- who you should have contact with
- what kinds of social activities you should be involved in.
Who to choose as your attorney
When deciding whom to choose as your attorney(s) you should make sure you choose someone you can trust to act in your best interests. For a personal welfare LPA in particular, you should be confident that they know you well enough and understand your values and beliefs to be able to make decisions that take into account your wishes. You should always check with the person you want to appoint that they would be willing to take on the responsibility.
Preparation of the Lasting Power of Attorney is detailed and lengthy and frequently the Office of the Public Guardian rejects documents because of oversights by the applicant, we will make the process very smooth and currently expect registration to take about 10 weeks. We will apply for an exemption or reduction in the registration fee if you qualify.