Lasting Power of Attorney
A lasting power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to appoint one or several persons to make decisions on your behalf. This could be for a situation where you become unable to make decisions due to an illness or if you are unable to make the decision yourself at the time. There are two types of lasting power of attorney.
The two types of LPA separate your health and wellbeing and your belongings like property and financial affairs.
This lasting power of attorney gives one or several persons the ability to manage your financial and property affairs for you. You will be able to allow this appointed attorney to manage your finances like bank and building society accounts, pay your bills and manage your pension or benefits. It will also allow you to give the attorney the ability to manage your property matters, like selling your home for example.
This type of LPA is effective as soon as it has been registered. This means that the attorney will be able to manage things for you straight away. It is not tied to you becoming unable to manage things yourself.
This document will appoint an attorney to be able to make decisions about your care at a time when you are unable to make these choices yourself. The attorney will for example be able to decide about your medical care and where you will receive treatment (at home or in a care home or hospice). The attorney will also be able to make decisions about any medical treatment and, more specifically, life-sustaining treatment.
This type of lasting power of attorney is only effective when you become incapacitated and cannot make these decisions yourself. You can make sure your wishes are clear before this happens by writing a living Will.
You can fill out forms to register an LPA online at the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). Or if this seems daunting and you would prefer to talk to a person about this you can contact a local solicitor to advise you. You can find a solicitor or legal adviser with this gov.uk tool.