Sophie Clark, in our leading Probate, Tax & Trusts team, explains what a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is.
An LPA is a legal document whereby you give another person(s) (known as an attorney(s) the ability to make certain decisions on your behalf.
Careful consideration should be given to choosing your attorney. It should be someone who you consider trustworthy and to have the appropriate skills to make decisions in your best interests. You may appoint more than one attorney and you may also choose to appoint a successor to your attorney, in case they die or otherwise cannot act for you.
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney:
- A property and financial affairs LPA, which allows your attorney to deal with your property and finances, as you specify.
- A health and welfare LPA, which allows your attorney to make welfare and health care decisions on your behalf, but only when you lack mental capacity to do so yourself. This could also extend, if you wish, to giving or refusing consent to the continuation of life sustaining treatment.
Existing Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA)
Any EPA, legitimately made before 1st October 2007, will continue to be valid but only in respect of your property and affairs. If you wish to give authority over your health and welfare you will need to make an appropriate LPA.
What happens without an LPA or EPA?
If you lack capacity to make a financial decision, then it may be necessary for an application to be made to the Court of Protection for an appropriate order, such as appointing another person to make decisions on your behalf. This is both costly and time consuming. Having an LPA in place can instead provide ease and reassurance for you and your loves ones.
Most care and treatment decisions can be made on your behalf without the need for a court application. However, if you wish to avoid potential disputes you can give a person(s) authority to make those decisions on your behalf by making a health and welfare LPA.
For further information or legal advice, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org or call 0118 951 6800.
This article is intended for the use of clients and other interested parties. The information contained in it is believed to be correct at the date of publication, but it is necessarily of a brief and general nature and should not be relied upon as a substitute for specific professional advice.