What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
Do I need one?!
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).
The first is is called a Health and Welfare LPA. This is for using when you are no longer able to tell people your wishes about your medical treatment and care, either because you cannot speak or because you are no longer able to make those decisions.
The second is to help you when you are not able to manage your money, and is called an LPA for Financial Affairs.
This might be needed be due to illness or injury. Or it might be because you have gone travelling and need someone to manage your affairs in the UK in your absence. It could also be because you simply need help with the day to day, such as paying your bills, speaking to your bank or mortgage company, and so on.
You can write and register (with the Courts) an LPA while you are still mentally and physically able to do so.
This means that, if your circumstances do change and you need help to make and communicate decisions about your care and/or your money, the person you have chosen as your attorney is legally ready to do so.
They will be guided by the instructions you have given in your LPA, which is a written document, and will represent your views and/or manage your money in the way you have asked.
If you become so ill or injured that you needed an attorney, but you do not have an LPA registered, then there is no one legally able to represent your views immediately.
Decisions about your medical care and treatment will be made by your doctors, who will decide what would be in your best interests.
Your next of kin, or a trusted family member or friend, could apply to the Court to be your Deputy.
This will allow them to have a say in the decisions being made about your care, and to manage your finances. However, this is a slow process and it is expensive. There is also a possibility that the person who is appointed as your Deputy is not the person you would have chosen.
If you would prefer to talk to us directly to find out more, please call us on 01280 811201
If it would be easier to make an appointment for us to visit you, or for you to come in to our office,
you can call the number above or email Lesley.