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Should I make a Lasting Power of Attorney?
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that lets the donor (you) appoint one or more people known as Attorneys. The Attorneys may include the donor’s children, trusted family members and friends.
There are two types of LPAs and the donor must be over age of eighteen and have mental capacity when they make their LPAs.
The donor can make an LPA in relation to their Health and Welfare and Property and Finance which means that there are two separate documents for the donor to complete.
A Health and Welfare LPA can give the Attorneys the power to make decisions about things like:
- The donors daily routine
- Medical care
- Moving into a care home
- Life-sustaining treatment.
It is important to remember that a Health and Welfare LPA can only be used when the donor has lost mental capacity.
A Property and Financial Affairs LPA can give the Attorneys the power to make decisions about things like:
- Managing a bank or building society
- Paying bills
- Collecting benefits or pension
- Selling the donors home.
This type of LPA can be used as soon as it is registered with the Office of the Public Guardian but only with the donor’s consent. It can also be used when the donor has lost mental capacity
It is important for the donor and their Attorneys to understand the principles of mental capacity which are governed by the Mental Capacity Act 2005.
They include the following:
- The Attorneys must assume that the donor can make their own decisions unless it is established that they cannot do so.
- The Attorneys must help the donor make as many of their own decisions. They must take all practical steps to help the donor with this. The Attorneys can only treat the donor as unable to make a decision if they have exhausted all practical measures.
- An unwise decision should not be viewed as an unreasonable decision.
- The Attorneys must act in the donors best interests when the donor is unable to make a decision.
- Before the Attorneys can act for the donor they must consider whether they can make the decision or act in a way that is less restrictive of the donor’s rights and freedoms but still achieve its purpose.
Our Solicitors at Emery Johnson Astills will carefully go through and explain these principles to you, providing practical examples where possible.
As our Solicitors are specialists at drafting LPAs, they can include your preferences and instructions using legal terminology to prevent any miscommunication.
LPA’s must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before they can be used by Attorneys. The registration fee for each LPA is £82.
If you would like to discuss the contents of this article with a member of our Wills and Probate Department or would like to make an appointment to see a Solicitor please contact our Leicester office on 0116 255 4855 or our Loughborough office on 01509 610 312.