Lasting Power of Attorney
People who lack mental capacity need someone else to manage their legal, financial and health affairs. The Mental Capacity Act 2005 made provision for people to choose someone to manage, not only their finances and property should they become incapable, but also to make health and care decisions on their behalf.
They will be able to do this through a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). LPAs replaced Enduring Powers of Attorney (ERAs) in 2007 when the Mental Capacity Act came into force.
Financial Decisions LPA
You can make a Financial Decisions LPA to enable someone you trust (the attorney), to make decisions on your behalf about your financial affairs at a time when you are no lonqer able, or lack the mental capacity, to take those decisions yourself. This can include payinq your bills. collecting your income and benefits or selling your house, subject to any restrictions or conditions you might have included. It can only be used once it has been registered at the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG).
“We used South West Asset Protection for our Lasting Powers of Attorney and to set up a Trust. Every aspect was explained in plain English and the staff, Monica, were very helpful and friendly. they knew what they were doing and made the whole process very easy.” Mr & Mrs Clarke
Health & Care LPA
A Health & Care LPA allows the person/s you have chosen as your attorney to make decisions on your behalf about your personal welfare, e.g. where you live. It can include the power of the attorney to give or refuse consent to medical
treatment, if this power has been expressly given in the LPA. If you state that you do not wish to consent to specified life sustaining treatment to be given at a future time, the LPA giving the attorney the decision making power will invalidate
a previous advanced decision refusing treatment, thus giving the attorney power to make the decision. A subsequent advanced decision (if applicable in the circumstances) would be binding on the attorney.
A Health & Care LPA can only be used once it is registered
at the OPG and you have become mentally incapable of
making decisions about your own welfare.
Without a Lasting Power of Attorney
If you no longer have the mental capacity to look after your own affairs and you do not have a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), the Court of Protection will appoint a deputy to manage your affairs for you. There may be significant legal fees to pay, plus annual supervision fees up to £800, application fees, doctor’s certification fees, a security bond, a deputy fee and a long delay before the Deputy Order is
issued, and the deputy may not always be aware of your personal circumstances.
This could apply to anyone, at any age, by reason of illness, disability or mental impairment, who may no longer be able to deal with even simple matters like handling a bank or building society account, claiming benefits, handling tax affairs or transacting a house sale.
It is always better to prepare an LPA before a Deputy is appointed by the Court of Protection. An LPA must be made while you still have the mental capacity. It is too late if you have lost mental capacity.