There may be times in your life when you’re unable to manage your own personal affairs. Sickness, injury, old age and short-term incapacity can leave you unable to make decisions about your wellbeing.
While a daunting thought, in advance of these circumstances, you can grant legal authority to someone you trust to make a decision on your behalf.
This is done by completing a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) and it legally authorises a designated individual or individuals to take care of your personal matters for you.
Two types of LPA
You can apply for a Health and Welfare LPA or a Property and Financial Affairs LPA. Often, both are applied for together, allowing the attorney to make a decision in both areas and protect the overall wellbeing of their friend or family member.
The Health and Welfare LPA covers matters around your physical care and welfare. Your attorney may be required to make important decisions about any medical treatment you are given, your housing, your general care, and also whereabouts you are cared for. So it’s essential that you select a person you trust, and who will advocate for you when they are required to speak on your behalf.
When it comes to the Property and Financial Affairs LPA, the purpose of this agreement is to make a decision on your financial wellbeing and manage your finances day to day. This could include being responsible for your home, any financial assets, as well as your bank account and savings. It’s important to select someone who will manage your financial affairs soundly.
How to choose your Attorney?
Becoming an Attorney is a big responsibility, and it’s essential to choose someone that you trust. Whether Financial, Welfare or both, you need to be assured that they will behave with integrity, advocate for you when you are unable to, and make often difficult decisions that are in line with your values and instructions (which you can set out in your LPA). It’s worth noting that you can choose more than one Attorney and prepare a stand-in in the event that your original choice is unable to or fails to act.
What is a Certificate Provider?
A Certificate Provider is required to counter-sign your LPA. This protects potentially vulnerable people from being coerced into designating Power of Attorney to someone against their will. Typically, friends, neighbours or the medical community can provide this role. However, they are required to have known you for a minimum of two years.
How do I complete the paperwork?
It’s always smart to consult with a lawyer before you begin your LPA process. A lawyer will also ensure that your paperwork is registered with the Office of Public Guardian (OPG).
To find out more, why not download our “Free Guide to Lasting Powers of Attorney” or talk to one of our experts to learn how we can help you to create and register either or both kinds of LPA. Call us on 01243 216900 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.