A simple accident or illness at any age may be all it takes to leave a person totally dependent on others

At such times, without a Power of Attorney in place, a ĎDeputyí is appointed by the Court of Protection to take responsibility for that personís financial welfare. The cost for this is charged to the client and can run into several £1,000ís

A Lasting Power of Attorney document is therefore a very important document for your future because

YOU can choose who you wish to act as your attorney i.e. your spouse, child or other relative or friend

YOU can decide when your chosen attorney is to act i.e. immediately, only in emergencies or when it is deemed that you are losing mental capacity

YOU can choose how much authority to give your chosen attorney i.e. only your personal banking, the sale of your property or all your financial dealings.

You have to be of sound mind when you instruct a power of attorney - donít wait until itís too late

People who lack mental capacity need someone else to manage their legal, financial and health affairs.

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 made provision for people to choose someone to manage their finances and property (Property and Affairs LPA) and/or to make health and welfare decisions on their behalf (Personal Welfare LPA) should they become incapable.

What happens when a person is no longer capable of handling or managing his or her own affairs without a LPA in place?
If you are unable to look after your own affairs and you do not have an Power of Attorney, the Court of Protection will appoint a Deputy to manage your affairs for you. There will be significant legal fees to pay and the Deputy may not be aware of your personal circumstances.

This could apply to anyone, at any age, by reason of illness, disability or mental impairment who may no longer be able to deal with even simple matters like handling a bank or building society account or transacting a house sale.

The Property and Affairs LPA
The Property and Affairs LPA allows you to choose a person you trust to make decisions about how to spend your money and the way your property and affairs are managed. Once registered, and unless you have put a restriction on it, this type of LPA can be used by your attorney(s) straight away. It can only be used once it has been registered at the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG).

Personal welfare LPA
A personal welfare LPA allows the person/s you have chosen as your attorney to make decisions on your behalf about your personal welfare, eg where you live. It can include the power for the attorney to give or refuse consent to medical treatment if this power has been expressly given in the LPA.

Who can make an LPA?
Anyone aged 18 or over with the capacity to do so can make an LPA appointing one or more attorneys to make decisions on their behalf.

Who can act as my attorney?
You can choose anyone you trust to act as your attorney provided they are over 18 and not bankrupt when they sign the form. You can appoint more than one person to act. You can also appoint replacement Attorneys.

When possible, attorneys should take all practical and appropriate steps to help the donor make the particular decision. An attorney must consider the donor's past and present wishes. The role carries with it power and responsibility and should not be entered into lightly.

For further information regarding LPAs including costs, procedure and an appointment to visit you, call Lesley on 01438-214333


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