Types of Lasting Powers of Attorney
There are two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney (“LPAs”): Property and Financial Affairs and Health and Welfare.
A Property and Financial Affairs LPA gives your Attorney(s) the legal authority to manage your bank accounts, invest your savings, pay your bills, insure and maintain your property, pay your mortgage and, if it becomes necessary, to sell your property.
A Health and Welfare LPA gives your attorney(s) the legal authority to make decisions about your day to day health and welfare matters including where you live, your dietary needs and medical care, which could be whether to consent to or refuse medical examinations and treatment on your behalf. A Health & Welfare attorney is able to make decisions on your behalf only if you lose capacity.
For either type of LPA an attorney can be your husband or wife, another family member, friend or a professional, such as a solicitor or an accountant.
You can restrict what decisions are made by your attorneys or include specific instructions that they must carry out. You may also leave guidance as to what decisions your attorneys make in a particular situation. This is something you should discuss with one of our lawyers so that your LPAs are effective.
LPAs cannot be used until registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. There is fee payable on application for registration which, in certain circumstances, can be reduced or waived entirely depending on the individual’s financial circumstances. Our Lasting Power of Attorney Solicitors can register your LPA for you.
You can only make a LPA whilst you are mentally capable so it’s never too early to make one. However, if you or someone you know becomes mentally incapable of making their own decisions, other people may need to apply to the Court of Protection for the appointment of a Deputy, who will then be able to make decisions on your behalf. This can be costly and can be demanding and stressful for your relatives, friends and carers.
If you already have an Enduring Power of Attorney that was made before October 2007, then this will still be valid for the management of property and financial Affairs. For decisions about personal welfare, we recommend that you make a Health and Welfare LPA.
If you need any further guidance about either type of Lasting Powers of Attorney please speak to one of our specialist lawyers.