Lasting Powers of Attorney will help to provide some reassurance for the future
The future of each of us is unknown and sadly, some people in their older years will lose mental capacity. Whilst we all hope this does not happen to our loved ones, if the loss of mental capacity arises, then a Lasting Power of Attorney (“LPA”) provides the opportunity for those who may be concerned about losing their mental capacity to make decisions in the future, to have some say in their future care, such as the type of medical treatment they would want or not want, as well as appointing someone to look after their property and finances. Most LPAs will only become enforceable once a Donor is medically diagnosed as having lost mental capacity.
In the absence of an LPA, a person who loses their mental capacity will have their finances managed by the Court of Protection as opposed to by a loved one.
Managing your affairs during your lifetime can become more difficult and it is wise to nominate someone whom you trust to look after your affairs, should you become mentally or physically unable to manage your affairs yourself.
what is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) (which replaces the Enduring Power of Attorney) enables you to choose who you would like to manage your property, financial and general affairs should you become unable to manage them yourself. Your choice of Attorney will come into play either when you choose or when your mental health declines (subject to certain safeguards imposed by the Court of Protection).
You can also extend the powers under a LPA to those relating to your personal welfare, if you so wish. You will also be able to place restrictions on what exactly your Attorney can deal with, such as property or restricting medical decisions.
Your Attorneys will have the power to decide on issues such as where you will live, your care and medical treatment. They may also give or refuse consent to the carrying out or continuation of medical treatment, according to your wishes, although they cannot act if you are still capable of making those decisions for yourself.
Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA)
What is an Enduring Power of Attorney?
New EPAs can no longer be created, however if you have an EPA made before October 2007, either registered or unregistered, it can still continue to be used. LPAs have now replaced EPAs, which only allowed people to appoint Attorneys to make decisions about property and financial matters on their behalf. The new LPAs give more protection and extra options.
If you have already made an EPA and you are still have full mental capacity, you can either replace it with a new Property and Affairs LPA or can keep the existing EPA. You can also make an additional LPA for personal welfare decisions.
At Watson Thomas Solicitors, our professional and friendly Private Client Solicitors can help you prepare a LPA to meet your individual needs.
If you need legal guidance and support on LPAs, please call us at our Fleet Office on 01252 622422 or our Guildford Office on 01483 320114.