An LPA is an important legal document under which you give authority to someone else (the attorney) to manage your affairs in the event that you are no longer able to do so yourself. This can be as a result of loss of mental capacity due to old age or dementia. It can also be due to an unexpected event earlier in life such as an accident or a stroke.
It is very important to be aware that you can only appoint an attorney while you have the mental capacity to do so. Therefore, timely action is important.
If you do not have an LPA and become mentally incapacitated an application will need to be made to the Court of Protection to appoint a Deputy. This can take time, and the person appointed may not be the person you may have chosen yourself. The cost of the application to the Court of Protection is also higher than making an LPA.
There are two types of LPA and you can choose to make one type or both.
- Property and Financial Affairs
- Health and Welfare
A Property and Financial Affairs LPA gives your attorney power to handle your financial affairs, for example, buying or selling property, operating bank accounts, managing pensions or benefits or handling tax matters.
A Health and Welfare LPA allow your attorney to make decisions regarding your personal welfare. This could include decisions about where or with whom you live, your day to day care or whether or not to give consent to you receiving medical treatment.