What is an LPA?
A Lasting Power of Attorney (“LPA”) is a legal document that enables a person (“the donor”) to appoint someone they trust to make certain decisions for them. The person who is appointed in this way is called an “attorney” (or attorneys) and a special form must be used in order to appoint the attorney.
Why would I want to make one?
A person might wish to appoint an attorney if they are worried about what would happen if they had an accident or developed a serious illness. More often, a more elderly person might wish to appoint an attorney if they are concerned about developing an illness such as dementia or suffering a stroke which might leave them incapable of managing their own affairs.
What would happen if I didn’t make one?
If a person loses capacity and has not appointed an attorney, it is necessary for the Court to oversee their affairs. Unfortunately, getting the court involved in this way takes time and money and it is far better and less expensive if an attorney is appointed before capacity is lost. Spouses cannot act on each others behalf automatically without an LPA.
Who can make an LPA?
Anyone over the age of 18 can appoint an attorney, as long as they have capacity to manage their own affairs at the time when the appointment is made.
What decisions can be made with an LPA?
A person can make two types of LPA:
• Property and Affairs LPA
• Personal Welfare LPA
The first type of LPA enables the attorney to make decisions regarding how the donor’s money and financial affairs are managed. The second type enables the attorney to make decisions regarding the donor’s healthcare and welfare, including the refusal to consent to medical treatment.
Is it valid immediately?
No – it is important to note that neither type of LPA is valid until it is registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (“OPG”) in London, but this can be done either straight away or after the donor loses capacity.
We can also act as professional attorneys.