Setting up Power of Attorney
A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a legal tool that allows you to give authority to a person you trust to make decisions on your behalf in the future if you are unable to do so due to mental incapacity. This person can either be a member of your family or a professional. If you require help setting up power of attorney our LPA solicitors are here to help.
There are two different types of power of attorney:
Health and Welfare LPA
A health and welfare LPA is put in place to make decisions about your health and welfare. This can only be used when you are unable to make decisions by yourself about health-related matters. For example, if you have severe dementia or are unconscious. A health and welfare LPA is responsible for making decisions about:
- Your daily routine, including everyday matters such as what you should eat and what you should wear.
- With whom you should have contact and the social activities in which you should take part.
- Healthcare and medical care, such as giving or refusing content for medical treatment, life support or life-sustaining treatment.
- Where you should live. Such as, whether you should move into full-time care at a care home or with a family member.
Once you are incapable of making these decisions yourself, the LPA comes into effect. It isn’t possible to revoke the LPA once you have lost mental capacity, so it’s important to consult an LPA solicitor before making one.
Property and Financial Affairs LPA
A property and finance LPA can be used with your permission once registered before you have any mental incapacity. It is there to make decisions about finances and property, such as:
- Bank accounts
- Paying bills
- Paying a mortgage or rent
- Arranging repairs to a property
- Benefits and pension
- Selling property
You might wish to use a financial LPA when selling a property or a particular high-worth item if you would prefer not to make the decisions yourself.
Reasons for Setting up Power of Attorney
There are a variety of reasons for choosing to make an LPA, depending on the type. A common reason for choosing a health and welfare LPA is for peace of mind about the future if you have a dementia diagnosis or are worried you might get one. It can be upsetting to consider what would happen if you were to lose your mental capacity and who would make your medical and financial decisions on your behalf. Setting up power of attorney restores an element of control amid the uncertainties of the future. Knowing that a trusted friend or family member will be there to take care of things can be a significant weight off people’s shoulders. Equally, those without immediate family or friends can find the concept of an LPA particularly reassuring if they are worried about what the future holds for them. Your local LPA solicitors at Newtons can walk you through the process of setting up an LPA if you have any questions or would like to explore this further.
How Can I Set Up an LPA?
If you’re considering setting up power of attorney there are few requirements that must be met:
- You must be over 18 to make an LPA.
- You must have the mental capacity to do so and must not have been pressured into making one.
- You must have a sole LPA as you can’t make a joint LPA with another person.
- You can only use LPA after it has been registered with the Court of Protection.
We can help you put an LPA in place for a time when you need someone to act in your best interest when you no longer can.
Our wills, probate and trusts team is here to help.
Please call us to find out how we can help. We can talk on the phone or arrange a meeting where we can discuss your options and give you a clear idea of timeframes and costs.
Alternatively, please contact us online and we’ll call you back when it’s convenient for you.