Lasting Powers of Attorney documents (LPAs) are legal documents that enable you to safeguard your decision making, should you lose the capacity to do this for yourself at any point in your life. For example, you may suffer a stroke, be involved in a serious accident or begin to suffer from poor physical health.
Having LPAs in place is just as important as making a Will. LPAs allow you to choose someone you trust to deal with your financial and health matters whilst you are still alive but unable to deal with them yourself.
There are two types of LPA; one which deals with your property and finances and one which deals with your health and personal welfare.
The Property & Financial Affairs LPA allows your attorney(s) to make decisions about your money and property. This could include paying your bills or selling your home.
The Health & Welfare LPA allows your attorney(s) to make decisions that affect things like your medical care and where you live. This can also extend to decisions about whether you live, should you suffer something that leaves you dependent on a life support machine.
The LPA documents are valid once they have been signed, but they cannot be used until they have been officially registered with the Office of Public Guardian.
If you wished to appoint an Attorney, they could be one of the following:
In order to make a Lasting Power of Attorney, you must be over 18 years of age and you must have 'mental capacity' at the time you are making and signing your LPA documents.
A form for each LPA needs to be completed and signed by yourself and your attorney(s). The LPA form also requires a Certificate Provider to sign the forms. There are certain criteria that apply in order for someone to become a Certificate Provider.
The LPA forms have sections where you are required to provide details of your instructions and preferences. You are also able to choose how your attorney(s) make decisions. For example, if you have more than one attorney you may state they are to make all decisions jointly.
Once the LPA is registered, the only way you can end an attorney's power is with a Deed of Revocation.