Sep 1 16

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney and why do I need one?

Roger Wastnedge

It is a sad fact that 225,000 people in Britain develop dementia every year according to the Alzheimer’s Society.

Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA’s) were introduced in 2007 as a replacement for Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA’s) as a result of the enactment of the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

The function of an LPA is to allow for a donor – the person making it, to choose trusted people known as attorneys, to make decisions on the donor’s behalf and protects those who do not have the physical or mental capacity to make decisions for themselves. All LPA’s are dealt with and legally enforced by the Office of the Public Guardian.

There are two types of LPA that currently exist, the first of which is a ‘Health and Welfare’ LPA. This type of LPA can only be used in situations where the donor does not have the mental capacity – the ability to make decisions for themselves and cannot be invoked otherwise. There is some flexibility as to the extent of the powers the LPA can grant – the appointed attorneys can only make specific decisions if you outline it to be so, for example making judgements such as daily routine and diet, right through to moving into supported care or agreeing to lifesaving medical treatment.

As well as the Health and Welfare LPA, there is the ‘Property and Financial Affairs’ LPA, which as the name suggests links directly to the personal property and money of the donor, and what the attorney can do with it. A Property and Financial Affairs LPA can be used immediately upon registration, there is no requirement for the lack of mental capacity. Many people opt to make both types of LPA, though there is no necessity to do so, you can opt to make or the other.

Preventative measures do exist to make sure attorneys only ever act within the donor’s interests, and that they must follow instructions regarding any specific decisions.

I can provide you with advice on the creation and registration of an LPA to include these preventative measures. Contact us today on 0151 559 0695, or use the contact form below.

Talk to Roger Wastnedge of Border Wills of Merseyside if you feel you or a loved one may need to appoint an LPA.