- Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney.
- Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Powers of Attorney.
A UK Lasting Power of Attorney can help you plan how your health, well-being and financial affairs will be looked after. It allows you to plan in advance and choose who will make those decisions if things go wrong. The Court of Protections choice may not be yours!
- The decisions you want to be made on your behalf if you lose the ability to make them yourself.
- The people you want to empower to make these decisions.
- How you want people to make these decisions.
Having an English/ Welsh LPA is a safe way of maintaining control over decisions made for you because:
- It has to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before it can be used.
- You choose someone to provide a ‘certificate.’ This means they confirm that you understand the significance and purpose of what you’re agreeing to in each of the types of Lasting Power of Attorney.
- You can choose who gets told about your Lasting Powers of Attorney when they are registered (so they have an opportunity to raise concerns.)
- Your signature and the signatures of your chosen attorneys must be witnessed.
- Your LPA UK attorney(s) must follow the Code of Practice of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and act in your best interest.
1) LPA Property and Affairs
An LPA Property and Financial Affairs allows you to choose one or more people to make property and financial affairs decisions for you. This could include decisions about paying bills or selling your home. You can appoint someone as an attorney to look after your property and financial affairs at any time provided you have “mental capacity” – broadly the ability to weigh information and make an informed decision. You can also include a condition that means the attorney can only make decisions when you lose the ability to do so yourself. Before October 2007, Enduring Powers of Attorney provided the same functions. If you have one of those you may only need the Health and Welfare LPA.
2) The Health and Welfare LPA
A Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney allows you to choose one or more people to make decisions for things such as medical treatment, where you live, who you see, what you eat etc etc. A Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney can only be used if you lack the ability to make decisions for yourself and are unlikely to recover sufficiently to be able to make the necessary decision with a reasonable time.
Types of Lasting Power of Attorney
If you fail to take the basic precautions of organising both types of Lasting Powers of Attorney and perhaps have a car accident, stroke, trip over a paving stone, or a skiing accident like Michael Schumacher, and lose the ability to make decisions, someone will have to apply to be appointed as your DEPUTY. That can take a year, and cost several thousand pounds and often ends up with a solicitor or Social Services running your life.