The Lasting Power of Attorney, LPA is a suite of documents that allows me (the donor) to appoint someone I trust (the attorney) to act on my behalf during my lifetime.
Enough of me.
My will is dormant. It’ll come to life when I die (pun intended) – until then, it’s inactive.
Between now and my death, I have an LPA.
The LPA and the will complement each other.
Illness or accident may deprive you or I of our mental faculties and the ability to make decisions for ourselves.
The Two Types of LPA
The power of attorney comprises two distinct documents:
- The LPA for Health and Welfare
- The LPA for Property and Financial Affairs
LPA for Health and Welfare
Health and Welfare LPA can be used to make decisions such as where the donor will live, or what medical, nursing or social care they will receive. The attorney may only use this when the donor has lost mental capacity.
The health and welfare lpa may be used for such thing as:
- living and accommodation arrangements
- care and medical treatment
- decisions on the application or continuation of medical treatment
this power however may not be used when:
- the donor has the capacity to make the decision themselves
- matters relate to the refusal of life-sustaining treatment, unless the LPA expressly says so
‘You promised me you would help me when I could no longer carry on. It is only torture now and it no longer has any sense.’Sigmund Freud
LPA for Property and Financial Affairs
The attorney may use this document to make decisions regarding all matters relating to money, property and finances. The attorney may use this when the donor has lost mental capacity. The donor may also instruct the attorney to use the LPA on their behalf.
The property & financial affairs lpa and be used for:
- operating bank accounts
- making investment decisions
- signing tax returns
- buying and selling property
- paying the milkman or window cleaner
This power however may not be used to:
- sign the donor’s will
- act for the donor as a trustee or executor
- make gifts except where there is evidence of previous similar gifts
The Enduring Power of Attorney, EPA
The Enduring Power of Attorney, EPA the older version of the LPA for property and financial affairs has now been superseded. An EPA that has been draughted can be registered, and a registered EPA can be used, you cannot draught a new enduring power of attorney.
If Not Now, When?
You can only write an LPA while you’re of sound mind.
You must be past your 18th birthday and, for property and financial affairs, not be an undischarged bankrupt.
Some think LPA are for old people, not so. In my experience, even those of child-rearing age need lasting powers of attorney.
You can imagine the endless horror stories of folk who needed, but lacked lpa.
If not now, when?
The Final Act
You must register your LPA with the Office of the Public Guardian before the attorney can exercise the powers granted by the documents.
Over to You
If you couldn’t make decisions for yourself, whom would you want to act on your behalf? You’ve a choice, either:
• People you know, love and trust – those emotionally close to you, or
• Officers [deputies] appointed by the courts at great expense and hassle to your family.
I’ll help you put steps in place while you are currently compos mentis by drafting your lasting power of attorney so that it is the people you know and trust who would step in and decide matters on your behalf.
I’m a specialist LPA draughtsman of over 30 years’ experience, who can anticipate every eventuality and plan for changes in your circumstances: you want someone who can see round corners – this means your powers of attorney would always be up to date.
I’ll do all the work and make it quick, easy and painless.