Plan Ahead with a Lasting Power of Attorney
The numbers of registrations of Lasting Powers of Attorney have increased over the years as people plan ahead to ensure that the management of their affairs can continue even when they no longer have mental capacity.
According to the Alzheimer’s Society, there are over 850,000 people living with dementia in the UK, and, of those, nearly 40,000 are under the age of 65. It is important that you think about the future and putting something in place regardless of your age.
What are Lasting Powers of Attorney?
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document in which you can appoint an attorney to act on your behalf to look after your affairs and make important decisions. There are two types of LPAs; Property & Finances and Health & Welfare.
The LPA for Property & Finances allows your attorney to manage your property, income and general day to day financial matters.
The LPA for Health & Welfare allows your attorney to make day to day decisions regarding healthcare and medical treatments as well as speaking with health and social care staff.
Who can be an Attorney?
You can appoint anyone to be an Attorney whether it is a relative, friend or professional. They must be over 18 years and never have been made bankrupt. It is important to note that whoever you appoint you must trust. Your attorney will have a lot of responsibility and will need to make important decisions on your behalf.
You can appoint more than one Attorney and also back-up Attorneys known as “Replacement Attorneys” in the event that your Attorney or Attorneys are unable to undertake their role.
When can the Attorney act?
You can choose when you want your attorney to act for the Property & Finances LPA, either following the LPA being registered and only with your consent or upon you having lost mental capacity.
An attorney appointed under an LPA for Health & Welfare can only act if you have lost mental capacity and not before.
What happens if I don’t have an LPA and I lose mental capacity?
If you are deemed to have lost mental capacity, it is likely you will be unable to manage your own affairs and it will be too late for you to make LPAs. At this stage, it would be for your relatives, friends or a professional to make an application to the Court of Protection for deputyship. This can be a long and expensive process.