A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that lets you (the ‘donor’) choose trusted people (‘attorneys’) to make financial decisions or health and care decisions on your behalf.
LPAs were introduced by the Mental Capacity Act (MCA)2005 and replaced the old Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPAs) from 1 October 2007.
An LPA is mainly used if you do not have the mental capacity to understand and make decisions yourself. You need mental capacity to make an LPA. Mental capacity is the ability to make a specific decision at the time that it needs to be made.
There are 2 forms of LPA:-
- one to deal with property and financial affairs
- the other to deal with health and welfare issues
The two types of LPA are independent and you may appoint different people to act as your attorneys under each type of LPA.
Financial decisions may be about:
- opening, closing and using your bank or building society accounts
- claiming, receiving and using your benefits, pensions and allowances
- buying or selling your home
- paying your household, care and other bills
- making or selling investments
You choose whether your attorneys can act for you as soon as the LPA is registered or only if you can no longer understand and make decisions
You do not have to own your own home or have a lot of money to make an LPA for financial decisions. For example, if it is hard to manage your bank account or bills alone, you may want someone to help.
Health and care decisions may be about:
- giving or refusing consent to health care
- staying in your own home and getting help from social services
- moving into residential care and finding a good care home
Your attorneys can only make decisions when you no longer have mental capacity.
You can choose whether your attorneys or your doctors should make decisions about accepting or refusing medical treatment to keep you alive, if you are unable to make or understand that decision yourself.
You do not need to have complex health or care problems to make an LPA. It is simply a way of planning for your care in case you cannot make decisions for yourself in future.
Before you can use your LPA, it must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian(OPG.) There is a fee of £82 per power to register the LPA which is payable to the OPG.
If you would like to apply for an LPA then please contact RJT Solicitors on 01942 409154.