Lasting Power of Attorney – How to protect your future.
We are all used to making our own decisions; from what to eat, to where to invest our money. However, there may become a time in our lives when we are unable to make important decisions for ourselves after losing capacity due to an illness or accident.
Most people assume that when you lose capacity, family members automatically have the right to make decisions on your behalf.
However, this is not always the case.
It may be necessary in some circumstances to apply to the Court of Protection to appoint a Deputy who can make decisions for you. This can be a lengthy and costly process, adding stress to an already challenging time for family.
Even if your immediate family are given the responsibility, without power being allocated to somebody, disagreements amongst family members may cause conflict.
It is therefore important, whatever your age, to have peace of mind and confidence in your future affairs.
A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document that can be created before a person loses capacity.
The individual who creates the Lasting Power of Attorney is known as the ‘donor,’ and will appoint one or more attorneys that they can trust to make decisions on their behalf. They must always maintain a duty of care and act in the donor’s best interests.
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney. You can create one or both:
Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare
- This gives your attorney(s) the power to make decisions on your behalf in respect of things such as medical decisions, who you should have contact with, and where you should live.
- This Lasting Power of Attorney can only be used when capacity is lost, and not beforehand.
- This is beneficial if you wish for a loved one to make personal decisions on your behalf rather than a healthcare professional or the local authority.
Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs
- This gives your attorney(s) power to deal with things such as your bills, selling your property, and dealing with your bank accounts.
- This Power of Attorney can take effect before you lose capacity if you wish for your attorney(s) to make certain decisions for you.
- Your attorney must keep accounts and make sure their money is kept separate from yours.
If you would like to discuss Lasting Powers of Attorney further with a member of our team, please contact us today on 01745 536030 to see how we can help.