The Importance of Appointing a Lasting Power of Attorney.

One thing to consider when planning for your future is who will make those all important decisions on your behalf if you were to lose capacity to make them yourself.
The person you chose to make such decisions would be your named as your Attorney in a legal document called a ‘Lasting Power of Attorney’ (LPA).

Having an LPA in place is massively important to ensure that the decisions around your finances and your health and welfare are well documented and can be made in the event of sudden loss of capacity.
Without an LPA in place, the delay in waiting for a deputyship application to be processed by the Court can be avoided by allowing an Attorney to manage your personal affairs if you are no longer able.

An LPA is a legal document that enables you to give the legal authority to someone to make decisions on your behalf, if you were to lose mental capacity (and by extension the ability to make the decision). Obviously, this power has to be given to someone you wholeheartedly trust.

There are two types of LPA’s, one that can cover health and welfare decision and another that covers financial and property decisions .

Your ability to implement decisions can be affected both temporarily and permanently. For example, you may not have the ability to make a decision surrounding a visit to the hospital for an operation, or more permanently following a diagnosis of dementia.
It’s paramount that you’re well prepared in the case of both scenarios, by ensuring you have an LPA in place.

An LPA for Health & Welfare can only be used if you no longer have mental capacity to make such decisions yourself and all decisions must be made in your best interests.
Decisions such as where you live, what medical treatment and care you receive, what you can eat, who you have contact with and what social activities you partake in might be decided on your behalf by your Attorney.

Within an Health & Welfare LPA you can also decide whether your attorney is able to make decisions regarding life supporting treatment.

An LPA for Property and Affairs can be used when you lose capacity but it can also be used while you still have mental capacity, but your physical capacity has become weakened. These can cover all decisions about your finances, including buying or selling property, paying bills such as mortgage or rental payments, care home fees and utilities, as well as savings & investments.

Although this all may seem quite daunting, and whilst you can also allow your Attorney to make further decisions, such as those you’d normally make yourself if you were able, you can also restrict what your Attorney is able to do. Your Attorney should always act in your best interests, keep records of what they are doing and keep their finances separate from their own.

It’s also important to keep your LPA updated on any changes to your circumstances and who you want making decision for you in regards to your finances and wellbeing, if your intentions were to change

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