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What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

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A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that allows you (the donor) to appoint attorneys to make decisions on your behalf.  Most people appoint trusted friends or relatives.  Some decide to appoint professional attorneys and, in this case, would expect to pay for the work carried out under the LPA.

There are two types of LPA. 

1. LPA for Property and Financial Affairs can be used, with your consent, while you still have mental capacity to make decisions for yourself.  You may want or need your attorneys to help with managing your finances if, for example, you are in hospital or out of the country

The LPA for Property and Financial affairs can also be used when you no longer have mental capacity so that your chosen attorneys can manage your financial affairs as if they were you.  Without an LPA those caring for you may have to apply to the Court of Protection for authority to manage your financial affairs, involving delays and greater legal costs.

2. LPA for Health and Care Decisions can only be used when you no longer have mental capacity to make decisions for yourself and can simplify the decision making process in relation to all aspects of health and welfare including where you should live and what medical treatment you should receive.

What is Mental Capacity?

Mental Capacity is the ability to make and communicate decisions; you must understand the decision you need to make, why you need to make it and the likely outcome of the decision.  At any time you may be able to make decisions about some things but not others.  For example a person may be able to make simple decisions such as which clothes to buy, but may not be able to make a  complicated financial decision such as how to invest money. The ability to make decisions may change from day to day.  Every effort should be made by your attorneys to help you to make decisions for yourself.

It is a fundamental principle that your attorneys must always act and make decisions in your best interests.

At Emery Johnson Astills, we have a dedicated Private Client Team who would be more than happy to assist you with making your Lasting Powers of Attorney. Contact Jane Hinds or Jessica Huczmann at Emery Johnson Astills on 0116 2554855 or 01509 601 312 for further information or to arrange an appointment.