What is lasting power of attorney? Private Wealth
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that allows someone to choose other people who they trust to make decisions and take actions on their behalf when they are unable to through physical or mental incapacity.
It must be completed in advance of the person losing mental capacity and must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before it can be used.
There are two types of LPA:
- Property and Financial, which allows an attorney to make decisions and take actions in relation to bill payments, dealings with the bank, collecting benefits, selling property and so on.
- Health and Welfare, which allows decisions on medical treatment, care, medication, where you live and decisions relating to life-sustaining treatment.
If created with professional advice, a Lasting Power of Attorney is an important document to help families and individuals protect their money and welfare if it becomes difficult to manage decisions. There are many common life issues that arise when having an attorney able to help access finances and make decisions would be helpful, such as:
- Serious accident causing limb or brain injury
- Learning disabilities
- Mental health problems
- Absence overseas
If you lose mental capacity without having completed a Lasting Power of Attorney, a family member may need to apply for a court order from the Court of Protection to become what is called a Deputy to be able to make decisions on your behalf. This can be costly, time-consuming and very stressful at an already difficult time for families.
A registered Lasting Power of Attorney allows the individuals you have chosen to make decisions at a fraction of the cost and avoids any dispute arising about, things like:
- Buying and selling your property.
- Opening, closing, and operating bank and building society accounts.
- Claiming, receiving and using your benefits, pensions, and allowances.