Lasting Power Of Attorney
A Power of Attorney ( PoA) is a written authorisation to represent or act on another's behalf in private affairs, business, or some other legal matter. It can be broken down into two types: the General Power of Attorney(GPA) and the Lasting Power of Attorney(LPA).
The GPA is effective only as long as the donor has mentally capacity, whereas the LPA is effective into the donor's mental incapacity.
A Lasting Power of Attorney is authorised by the donor for an Attorney, to make decisions on his behalf when he has lost mental capcacity. The LPA can be made to control the actions of your attorney as well as, when the powers would come into effect.
Because of it's purpose; the LPA must be made when you have full mental capacity. Otherwise it is too late, which is why you need to think about applying for one whilst you are still fit and healthy.
Why Do I Need A Lasting Power Of Attorney?
It's not something that people usually think about for discussion topic at the drinks machine. However, statistically; 1 in 3 people born in UK this year, will develop some sort of degenerative brain condition – such as a dementia, including Alzheimer’s Disease or Parkinson’s Disease. In addition to the physical and emotional problems that come with this condition, there are some legal problems to consider. Principally, because people with these conditions, including coma or stroke, are not able to legally make decisions for themselves, medically or financially. This is called loss of mental capacity. A life is then governed by the Mental Capacity Act ( 2005 ).
Types of Lasting Power of Attorney
There are 2 main types of LPA that should be put into place early on to ensure your wishes are followed. These are:
- Finance & Property: This covers any decisions about your finances or property. Your attorney will be responsible for helping you with your assets in line with your wishes, including your banking, insurance, investments and property - income and sales.
- Health & Welfare: The role of the health and welfare attorney is to help you make medical or welfare decisions in relation to medical care or welfare (for example where you live and how you are cared for) when you are unable to for yourself.
When to Make a Lasting Power of Attorney
Often the LPA is drawn up alongside a Will. This is a time when the person must be mentally aware and able to make those decisions. The decisions include: who should be their Attorney in charge of their financial and medical decisions. Also, they need to decide their wishes for various situations, as well as other instructions. Recently the statsitical age for being diagnosed with a dementia was moved from the age 55 to 45. Yes. I too, looked twice. So, if you have not yet drawn up your LPA, then you are at risk of your medical or financial fate being taken over by the Court of Protection. In that event, you are just a number. One of thousands of charges. At Edmunds and Eve, we understand that your individual needs and desires are paramount, which is why we work closely with you to design your LPA to say exactly what you want to happen, and when.