Lasting Power of Attorney (Enduring Power of Attorney)
Many worry about what might happen if we reach an age when our mental capacity is impaired, or if we lose the ability to make or communicate decisions through illness or injury. Who will make decisions about our welfare or about our finances or our property?
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that appoints someone (one or more than one person) to make decisions about your welfare, money or property if you become unable to do so for yourself. You can appoint anyone you trust to act as your attorney. They may be members of your family but they do not have to be. They could be suitable professionals such as doctors, solicitors or accountants.
There are guidelines laid down about who can assess whether you are capable of making a decision, and on what criteria. We can explain the details to you. In practice, many individuals decide for themselves when they are ready for their attorney(s) to step in.
The decisions of your attorney(s) must be in your best interests, and all LPAs have to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian so there is transparency and public scrutiny of the whole process.
We can give you advice on choosing attorney(s) and deciding what powers you plan to give them. We can also guide you through the necessary forms as they require some careful thought.
Where there is no attorney and a person is need of help to manage their affairs then an application to the Court of Protection can be made. This can take some time and so a Power of Attorney is a timely and sensible life decision to be taken whilst you are still hale and hearty.