Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA)
It is also important to consider having Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) incase you lose mental capacity or develop a physical restriction which would stop you managing your affairs. There are two forms of LPAs – a Property and Financial Affairs LPA and a Health and Welfare LPA. The Property and Financial Affairs LPA is for decisions about day to day dealings with your finances, investments and your properties. The Health and Welfare LPA covers such things as where you should live and who you should live with, your day-to-day care, including diet and dress, and who you may have contact with. The Health and Welfare LPA also covers consenting to or refusing medical examination and treatment, assessments for and provision of community services, whether you should take part in social activities, leisure activities, education or training, your personal correspondence and papers and rights of access to personal information about you, including your medical records or complaints about your care or treatment
A Health and Welfare LPA can also contain an option to allow an attorney to consent to or refuse your life-sustaining treatment but it is not necessary that the LPA includes this type of authority. You need not have both types of LPA though we would recommend that you consider having both.
In order to create a valid LPA you need to choose attorneys. Because of their extensive authority, the choice of attorney is important. However an attorney cannot do what they like. The attorney must act in your best interests. Also, if you are detained under the Mental Health Act 1983 no decision can be made regarding treatment for a mental condition. You can choose different attorneys to act under the two different types of LPA.
For the LPA to be valid you need to specify people to be notified of its registration, you and your attorneys need to sign the LPA in the presence of a witness and in a specific order. Also you need a certificate provider to certify that you have mental capacity at the time the LPA is signed by you. The LPA then needs to be registered with the Office of Public Guardian. No attorney can act under the LPA until it is registered and an attorney cannot act under a Health and Welfare LPA until you lose mental capacity. There is a Court fee to be paid on registration of each LPA but if your means are below a certain amount no Court fee is payable or it is reduced. Our private client team are experienced in advising you on all aspects about creating LPAs. We can also advise if there is a dispute and an attorney needs to be removed.
For more information or advice regarding Lasting Powers of Attorney please contact us.