A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that appoints one or more people (attorneys) to make decisions on your behalf should you lose the mental capacity to do so for yourself.
There are two types of LPA to deal with decisions related to your health and welfare, or your property and financial affairs. You can have either or both types.
Here are our top tips on setting up an LPA.
1 Choose which type(s) of LPA you need
A Health and Welfare LPA covers medical care, moving into a care home, life-sustaining treatment and your daily routine such as washing, dressing or eating.
A Property and Financial Affairs LPA covers decisions about your money and property. This could include managing a bank account, paying bills, collecting benefits or a pension or selling your home
2 Don’t wait until you think you need an LPA
The whole point is that you make decisions about who will look after your affairs while you are fully capable. None of us can predict when we might need someone else to act on our behalf and LPAs have to be set up while you still have mental capacity. When you make or update your will it is a good time to think about LPAs.
3 Choose your attorney(s) carefully
You are potentially vesting a lot of control so make very sure that you are confident that you choose attorneys who will act in the ways you would wish.
4 Decide how your attorneys can act
If you have more than one attorney, they can either act ‘jointly and severally’ or ‘jointly.’ If ‘jointly is selected each Attorney has to agree and your LPA will end if one attorney dies or loses mental capacity whereas joint and several allows one attorney to make a decision
5 LPAs must be registered
LPAs must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG), which can take up to 10 weeks.
6 You can cancel or change your LPA
To end an LPA you need to send the OPG the original LPA and a written statement called a ‘deed of revocation.’ If your spouse of civil partner is an attorney, the LPA will end if you divorce or separate.