What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
Who would manage your affairs for you if you could no longer look after them?
This is a question that must concern all of us no matter how old, or young we are. We read every day of people being struck down by illness or accident and who are no longer able to look after themselves.
If this was you, how would you manage?
A Lasting Power of Attorney or LPA allows you to appoint, in advance, up to four Attorneys- people whom you trust, to manage your affairs for you if you could no longer do this for yourself.
Do not think that by making a LPA you are automatically handing over control of your affairs. This is not the case. It can only be used with your consent or when you no longer have the mental capacity to make your own decisions.
There are two types of LPA
The first, a Lasting Power of Attorney (Property & Financial Affairs) can cover amongst other things:
- Managing your finances and property
- Making sure bills are paid if you are unable to do so
- Selling your home if you had to move into residential care
The second, a Lasting Power of Attorney (Health & Welfare) covers such areas as:
- Giving or refusing consent to certain types of health care, including medical and life sustaining treatment decisions.
- Deciding (and, as far as possible, in line with your stated wishes) whether you continue to live in your own home or whether residential care may be more appropriate for you.
In all cases, an Attorney has to act in your best interests and is liable to the Court of Protection for their actions.