A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document which allows you to appoint someone to make decisions on your behalf.
There are two separate Lasting Powers of Attorney available to you, one to cover Financial and Property matters and the other to deal with your Health and Welfare.
Property and Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney
Once signed and then registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG), those you chose to appoint can manage your finances for you. They are able to deal with all financial matters, including payment of bills, investments and your home if you were to reach a point when you are no longer able to or want to make decisions for yourself, perhaps due to a lack of mental capacity or if you were to become too ill or frail to do so.
Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney
Once signed and then registered with the OPG those you have chosen can liaise with Doctors, hospital, care workers etc., to ensure that your welfare wishes are carried out. This document is particularly useful if you do not have any immediate next of kin or would prefer to appoint a close friend rather than rely on distant relatives to deal with your welfare decisions.
What are the benefits of making a Lasting Power of Attorney?
There are a number of reasons you may wish to sign an LPA:
- Reassurance that if you are not able to make a decision for yourself once registered, your chosen person or persons will make these decisions for you.
- Making an LPA ensures that the person you want to make decisions for you will have the legal capacity to do so.
- An LPA can reduce problems that may occur in the future. It can be much more expensive and time-consuming for family or friends to try to gain a similar power in the future if your capacity should be lost and it could be that someone you would not wish to act for you or do not trust could be granted power to do so.
- It provides the opportunity to discuss with your family and friends future financial and health and welfare planning matters which may not have ordinarily been considered or raised.
- An LPA lasts your lifetime but it can be revoked by yourself at any time.