A Lasting Power of Attorney is a document whereby you appoint a person or people to act upon your behalf in the event that you are unable to manage your property and financial affairs. You can also make a Lasting Power of Attorney which covers health and personal welfare decisions.
The term ‘Enduring Power of Attorney’ may be more familiar to you. If properly drawn an Enduring Power of Attorney remains valid. However, the law changed under the Mental Capacity Act 2005. It is no longer possible to make an Enduring Power of Attorney but you can make a Lasting Power of Attorney.
The main changes are that a Lasting Power of Attorney must be registered with the Office of the Pubic Guardian to be used. It is more flexible in that you can name replacement attorneys to act if your first choice of attorney or attorneys is or are unable or unwilling to act.
In the majority of cases the answer is a resounding YES.
The advantages are :-
Some people choose to make their own Lasting Powers of Attorney without taking professional advice. The Office of the Public Guardian website is very helpful.
However, using a Solicitor and a member of Solicitors for the Elderly can truly add value. Many applications to register Lasting Powers of Attorney are rejected or terms of the document removed for being invalid. This is particularly the case where they have not been professionally drawn up. Information is no substitute for professional advice.
A professional drafting of the Lasting Power of Attorney can truly add value. For example, you may wish to consider restrictions.
Restrictions and provisions that may be included are as follows:-
A health and welfare LPA, allows your attorney to make welfare and health care decisions on your behalf, only when you lack mental capacity to do so yourself. This could also extend, if you wish, to giving or refusing consent to the continuation of life sustaining treatment.
Most care and treatment decisions can be made on your behalf without the need for a court application. However, if you wish to avoid potential disputes, you can give a person(s) authority to make those decisions on your behalf by making a health and welfare LPA.
This LPA can cover such matters as choosing where you live as well as medical decisions. It can be particularly important if a person has certain dietary requirements or religious beliefs that dictate how they dress.
At Wards Solicitors we can advise you fully about Lasting Powers of Attorney.
We are also able to advise about Wills, Living Wills, Wealth Preservation, Estate Administration and Trusts. We have experienced and fully qualified Solicitors who are also members of the Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners and Solicitors for the Elderly.
Why not contact us for a free initial meeting? If mobility is an issue we will arrange to come and see you at your home.
In the first instance please contact Jenny Pierce, on 0117 929 2811