Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) – What are they?

Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) – What are they?

We often have the foresight to make a will – we consider what we would like to happen when we pass away and who we want to benefit from our estates. Often, my clients get peace of mind knowing that things are in order for the family that they are leaving behind.

However, what we find less than easy to contemplate is a chapter in our lives where we may be living but unable to manage for ourselves – this could be due to a physical impairment or because our mental capacity becomes diminished. One solution is to put in place Lasting Powers of Attorney.

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that allows you to appoint another person or persons to make decisions on your behalf. They are called your attorney(s). They may be friends, family, or a professional, but the most important factor to consider is trust. LPAs should be considered as part of your later life planning.

There are two types of LPA:

  • A Property and Financial Affairs LPA – this enables your attorney(s) to make decisions on your behalf in relation to financial affairs and your property. This power can be used when you have capacity and if capacity deteriorates or becomes lost.
  • A Health and Welfare LPA – this enables your attorney(s) to make decisions about social care issues and medical treatment, including life-sustaining treatment. This power can only be used when you no longer have the capacity to make welfare decisions for yourself.

Some decisions may require both a welfare and financial attorney, such as decisions about long-term care and funding relating to care, so a belt and braces approach to future planning is to have both in place. You do not have to appoint the same attorney(s) in both powers.

It is also possible to include instructions and advice within your powers of attorney to ensure that your LPA’s are written to meet your bespoke circumstances.

An LPA cannot be used until it is registered with the Office of the Public Guardian, and it is good practice to register the documents so that you know they are valid and then place them into storage until such time as you may need them.

If you would like a free, no-obligation appointment to discuss your circumstances, please contact Jane Flaherty on 01404 541904 or email in the first instance and an appointment will be made with one of our Private Client Solicitors.