A Lasting Power of Attorney (“LPA”) is a legal document which allows someone to appoint another (or others) called “attorneys” to make decisions on their behalf.
There are two types of LPA an individual can choose to create. Looking at each in turn;
An LPA-PFA can be used by the appointed attorney(s) when the person who has created it (sometimes called the “donor”) has lost mental capacity or if they are having difficulties physically dealing with their financial affairs. If a person has lost mental capacity to make decisions about their financial affairs perhaps due to an illness such as dementia or a stroke, spouses or close family members have no automatic right to be able to access their money or other assets and make decisions.
If mental capacity has been lost it will be too late to create an LPA-PFA. The only option would be for someone to make an application to the Court of Protection asking the Court for the permission to deal with the person’s finances. This is an expensive, lengthy and cumbersome process which should be avoided if possible.
An LPA-PFA can be used to allow one or more attorneys to;
c) Sell a property for example if this was necessary to fund the cost of care.
d) Make decisions about a business.
2. LPA for Health and Care (“LPA-HC”)
An LPA-HC can be used by one or more attorneys to;
a) Choose where the donor lives
b) Make decisions about the kind of medical treatment the donor receives (including life sustaining treatment)
c) Choose who visits the donor
d) Choose what clothes the donor wears and what they eat.
An LPA-HC can be especially useful if it is likely that a donor’s family or close friends will disagree about these kinds of decisions. Further if a donor wishes for any person other than their immediate family to make decisions about resuscitation or the acceptance or refusal of life sustaining treatment then an LPA-HC will be crucial.
Wills, Trusts & Probate