While nobody likes to think about these things, accidents or illness can affect anyone at any time. Lasting Power of Attorneys are not just recommended for the elderly. Having a Power of Attorney in place simply means you are prepared for any eventuality.
A registered and licenced medical doctor determines whether someone has mental capacity. Having mental capacity means a person is able to make their own decisions. If they become unable to make those decisions at some point in the future, someone else will need to do so for them. Some people may have the mental capacity to make decisions about some things but not others, or their capacity to make decisions may change from day to day. This could include decisions about property and financial affairs such as paying a mortgage, investing savings, buying items or making decisions about personal welfare, for example, what type of medical treatments to receive.
The first type of Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is known as a Property and Financial Affairs LPA, and gives your attorney the authority to deal with:
This type of LPA can be used when the donor loses mental capacity. Alternatively, this could be from the time of registration whilst the donor is still capable of handling their own affairs. In this instance the donor may choose to delegate these tasks to their attorney maybe due to their mobility, or the form can be restricted to only be used if that person is incapable of dealing with such matters.
Please take note, being named as an attorney within a Property and Financial Affairs LPA involves a high level of responsibility. For this reason, it is crucial to ensure that your client appoints someone trustworthy to act in their best interests.
The second type of Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is known as a Health and Welfare LPA. This type of LPA covers decisions about:
This type of LPA can ONLY be used if the donor is incapable of dealing with such matters themselves.
A Health and Welfare LPA does not cover financial arrangements – but it’s important to remember that the attorney may need access to finances so that they can arrange care easily. This is why many people set up both types of LPA simultaneously, appointing the same people to have authority.