- Written by
- Emily Warrener, Associate Solicitor
This is a question that some people are hesitant to consider. However, with an ageing population facing increasing physical and mental health related illnesses, the stark reality is that we should all be planning for this scenario.
What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
An LPA is a legal document that allows you to choose one or more individuals to make certain decisions for you. There are two types of LPA: a property and financial affairs LPA allows decisions to be made about your bank and savings accounts, bills, investments and property. A health and welfare LPA allows decisions to be made about your healthcare, medical treatment and, if you wish, life sustaining treatment.
Can’t my family handle matters for me without an LPA?
No-one automatically has the right to make decisions on your behalf about your finances and healthcare (for example, because they are your spouse or child). Entering into an LPA is the only way that the people you trust have the legal power to make these decisions when you cannot.
Can’t I deal with this if and when I become unwell?
An LPA must be entered in to whilst you still have mental capacity. Even then it still takes an estimated four months to register and become effective. If you developed a condition affecting your mental health, there is a possibility that you may no longer be able to enter into an LPA. In that situation, your relatives would instead have to apply to the Court of Protection to appoint a Deputy to manage your affairs. This can be a very time-consuming and costly procedure.
Advice | 2 June 2021
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