People often don’t consider that long before their death they might become incapable of managing their day-to-day affairs. It’s important to consider how your family might cope if you were to suffer a stroke or the onset of dementia.
Making a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) allows you to nominate a trusted relative or friend to look after your affairs in such an eventuality. An LPA is a legal document, and it’s a really good opportunity to consider making one alongside your Will.
There are 2 types of LPA:
The Lasting Power of Attorney – Property and Affairs
A Property and Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) allows you to plan ahead by choosing one or more persons you trust or a professional such as a Trust Corporation (your Attorney’s) to make decisions and take appropriate actions on your behalf regarding your property and financial affairs.
Your Attorney or Attorney’s can manage your finances and property whilst you still have capacity as well as when you lack capacity. For example, it may be easier for you to give someone the power to carry out tasks such as paying your bills or collecting your benefits or other income.
This might be for lots of reasons: you might find it difficult to get about or be housebound or may find talking on the telephone difficult, or you might be working or living abroad for long periods of time.
You can decide what power and the extent of the power to give your Attorney(s) when making decisions about any or all of your property and affairs matters. This could include paying your bills, collecting your benefits or selling your house.
This type of LPA does not allow the person(s) you have chosen (your Attorney) to make decisions about your personal welfare. If you want someone to be able to make personal welfare decisions on your behalf you will need to make a personal welfare LPA.
The Lasting Power of Attorney – Personal Welfare
A Personal Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) allows you to plan ahead with regard to your personal healthcare and welfare by choosing one or more people to make decisions on your behalf.
These personal welfare decisions can only be taken by somebody else (a close friend or family member) when you lack the ability to make decisions regarding your treatment or other personal matters for yourself; for example if you are unconscious or because of the onset of a condition such as dementia.
The Attorney(s) you appoint to make personal welfare decisions will only be able to use this power once the LPA has been registered and provided that you cannot make the required decision for yourself.
You can decide to give your Attorney the power to make decisions about any or all of your personal welfare matters, including healthcare matters. This could involve some significant decisions, such as:
• giving or refusing consent to particular types of health care, including medical treatment decisions; or
• whether you continue to live in your own home, perhaps with help and support from social services, or whether residential care would be more appropriate for you.
You may wish your Attorney(s) to have the power to make decisions about ‘life-sustaining treatment’, if you do then you have to expressly give your chosen Attorney(s) the power to make such decisions by completing section 5 of the LPA form.
You can also give your Attorney(s) the power to make decisions about day-to-day aspects of your personal welfare, such as your diet, your dress, or your daily routine. It is up to you which of these decisions you want to allow your Attorney to make.