Lasting power of Attorney

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a way of giving someone that you trust the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf if you lack mental capacity or if you no longer wish to make decisions for yourself.
There are two types of LPA, for financial decisions and for health and welfare decisions.

The criteria for someone wishing to make an LPA for both types of LPAs are quite straightforward, they must be any person aged 18 or over and the person wishing to make an LPA must have the correct mental capacity to do so.

Financial Decisions

The types of attorney (the person who makes the decisions for you) can be broken down into the following three categories:

  • Any person 18 or over
  • Such person must not be bankrupt or
  • Trust Corporation (i.e. a corporate body who is entitled to act as a trustee)

An attorney can take the following/actions or decisions on behalf of you:

  • Operating bank accounts
  • Giving access to the donor’s financial information
  • Claiming and using all benefits, pensions, allowances etc
  • Receiving any income, inheritance or other entitlement
  • Dealing with tax affairs
  • Paying the donor’s mortgage, rent and household expenses
  • Insuring, maintaining and repairing the donor’s property
  • Investing the donor’s savings
  • Making gifts in very limited circumstances
  • Paying for private medical care and residential care or nursing home fees
  • Using the donor’s money to buy a vehicle or any equipment or other help needed
  • Repaying interest and capital on any loan taken out by the donor

Please remember that such list is not exhaustive and may include further actions.

You can specify restrictions and decisions.

The Financial LPA can be used when the LPA is registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) and before or after you lack the relevant capacity however, you can specify that the attorney cannot act until after you have lost capacity.

Health and Welfare Decisions

Similar to the above, there are only two types who can make an LPA:

  • Any person 18 or over
  • Such person must not be bankrupt

There is only the requirement that the attorney must be 18 or over as opposed to the above financial LPA.

Your attorney can take the following actions/decisions for you:

Anything that relates to the donor’s personal welfare, for example:

  • Medical matters (for example, consent to medical treatment and arrangements that need to be made)
  • Where the donor should live and who the donor should live with
  • Who the donor may have contact with
  • The donor’s day to day care, including what to eat and what to wear
  • The assessment of and provision for any community care service provided to the donor
  • Accessing personal information such as medical records or legal records
  • Whether the donor should take part in any social, leisure or educational activities
  • Dealing with the donor’s personal paperwork and any correspondence received
  • Complaints about the donor’s care or treatment

The above list is not a full list and is indicative only. The donor can specify restrictions and conditions on the attorney.

If you would like any more information in relation to this article then please feel free to contact me via email: simon.nicolaides@bowlinglaw.co.uk

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