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MAKING A LASTING POWER OF ATTORNEY
A LPA is a legal document, which allows you to appoint your most trusted people, attorneys, to make decisions on your behalf.
These may be decisions about your financial affairs (as set out in a Property and Financial Affairs LPA), and your health needs (set out in a Health and Welfare LPA).
PEACE OF MIND
If you don’t have a LPA in place and you lose the ability to manage your affairs, for example through accident or illness, then your family would need to apply to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship Order. This is very costly, time-consuming and emotionally difficult; and comes at a time when your loved one may be struggling to cope.
LPAs can also be used for temporary financial decisions, where someone may be absent abroad for long periods or where a person may have disabilities which makes getting to the bank or paying bills difficult.
You may think that you don’t need a Property and Financial Affairs LPA if you don’t own your own home or have lots of money, however, this is incorrect. A LPA is needed in any financial situation from state benefits, pensions, bills and bank accounts, as well as property, regardless of whether it is owned or rented.
Also, you don’t need to have any health or care issues to make a Health and Welfare LPA. It’s a way for you to detail preferences regarding your care in case you can’t make those decisions later on.
What is the difference between a Property and Financial and Health and Welfare LPA?
Property and Financial LPA
Choose one or more people to make decisions about matters relating to:
Paying household bills or transferring money in and out of bank accounts.
Collecting benefits or salaries owed to you.
Selling or transferring your home.
Managing the upkeep of your property.
This type of LPA can be used for short periods of time or on a more permanent basis.
Health and Welfare LPA
Choose one or more people, to make decisions about matters relating to:
Your daily routine (e.g. eating, taking medication).
Your medical care.
Moving into a care home.
Decisions about life-sustaining treatment.
This type of LPA can only be used when you have lost the ability to make your own decisions.