A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that allows you to appoint one or more people (known as Attorneys) to help you make decisions and it also gives your Attorneys the power to make decisions on your behalf when you no longer have capacity to do so.
By making an LPA you are ensuring that the right people are able to support you when needed, for example, if you have an accident or become ill and you can no longer make certain decisions at the time they need to be made.
There are two types of LPA, the first covers your Health & Welfare matters and the second covers your Property & Financial Affairs. You can choose to make one type of LPA or both.
By making a Health & Welfare LPA, your Attorneys would be given the power to make the following type of decisions:
- Your daily routine
- Medical care
- If you need to move into a care home or have carers attend your property
- Life-sustaining treatment
Please be advised that a Health & Welfare LPA can only be used by your chosen Attorneys when you are unable to make your own decisions due to losing mental capacity.
In respect of your Property & Financial Affairs, your Attorneys would be able to carry out the following on your behalf:
- Managing your bank or building society accounts
- Paying your bills
- Collecting your benefits or pensions
- Selling your home
Please note that your Property & Financial LPA can be used as soon as the LPA is registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG), but the Attorneys must have your permission to carry out any of the above tasks. If you do not wish for your Attorneys to be able to make decisions about your money or property before you are unable to make decisions yourself, you may decide that this LPA can only be used once you have been diagnosed as not having mental capacity to make decisions of this type.
A certificate provider is required and they will need to provide their details. A certificate provider is an impartial person who confirms that you understand what you are doing and that nobody is forcing you to make a Lasting Power of Attorney. A certificate provider must confirm that you understand the significance of the LPA, confirm that you have not been under pressure to make it, that there is no fraud involved and there are no other reasons for concern.
Please note that the following persons can act as your certificate provider:
- a friend, colleague or someone you’ve known well for at least two years – they must be more than just an acquaintance
- your doctor or lawyer or someone with the professional skills to judge whether you understand what you’re doing and are not being forced to make an LPA
It is important to note that an LPA will cease on your death and your affairs shall then be dealt with by the Executors of your Will and not your named Attorneys.