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Lasting Powers of Attorney

Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) in English law were created under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and came into effect on 1 October 2007. The LPA replaced the former Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA) which were narrower in scope.

A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document that lets you (the ‘Donor’) appoint people (known as ‘Attorneys’) to make certain decisions on your behalf.

Their purpose is to meet the needs of those who can see a time ahead when they – in the words of the Act, will lack capacity – to look after their own personal and financial affairs. In addition to making a Will, many people draw up an LPA appointing a spouse or a family member to manage their financial affairs for them should they lose physical or mental capacity in the future.

In order to make an LPA, you must be 18 and over and have the mental capacity to understand what the LPA is and what the LPA will do.  You can also subsequently revoke the LPA but only while you have the mentally capacity to do so.

There are 2 types of lasting power of attorney:

  • A health and welfare LPA;

  • A property and financial affairs LPA.

lasting-power-attorney

You can choose to make 1 type or both.

1. Health & Welfare LPA

This allows you to choose 1 person or more to make decisions about things like:

  • your daily routine (e.g. eating and what to wear);

  • medical care;

  • moving into a care home; and

  • Life-sustaining treatment.

This type of LPA can only be used when you lack mental capacity to make a welfare or medical decision.

2. Property and financial affairs LPA

This lets you choose 1 person or more to make decisions about money and property for you, e.g.:

  • paying bills;

  • doing your shopping ;

  • collecting benefits ;

  • selling your home

This type of LPA can be used as soon as it is registered, with your permission, so it can be used both when you have capacity to act, as well as if you lack mental capacity to make a financial decision. 

Your Attorney

A power of attorney is a powerful document and you should take care whom you appoint, as they should be trustworthy and have suitable skills to make the proposed decisions. 

Your attorney must be 18 or over, not have been declared bankrupt and have mental capacity.

You can appoint more than one attorney and decide whether they must act together at all times or whether they can make decisions independently.

You may also choose to appoint a successor to your attorney, in case they die or otherwise cannot act for you.

When can the Attorney act?

The attorney will only be able to act when the LPA has been signed by you and your attorney, certified by an independent third party that you understand the nature and scope of the LPA and have not been unduly pressured into making the power.  The certificate must confirm that no fraud has been used to persuade you to make the power and that there is no other reason to prevent the power from being created. The LPA document must then be registered with the Office of Public Guardian before it can be used. 

An attorney must act in your best interests at all times and encourage you to make decisions for yourself. They are required to account for their dealings and keep your finances separate from their own.

Existing Enduring Powers of Attorney

Any enduring power, validly made before 1st October 2007, will continue to be able to be used but only in respect of your property and affairs.  If you wish to give authority over your health or welfare you will need to make a welfare LPA.

You should always take independent legal advice before signing a Power of Attorney, so speak to one of our Wills, Probate & Estate Administration Team today. Please get in touch on 0161 740 4918, or alternatively, please complete our online enquiry form.

To speak to a member of ourLasting Powers of Attorney Team today, please get in touch on 0161 740 4918, or alternatively, please complete our online enquiry form.

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