Putting a Power of Attorney in place is a peace of mind legal protection that gives one or more people the authority to make decisions on your behalf. Appointing someone as Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) does not mean that they will be able to control your affairs while you’re still able to. An LPA’s authority only comes into effect if and when you do not have mental capacity. This also means that, if you return to good health and are mentally cognizant, your authority over your own affairs will instantly be restored.
There are two types of LPAs and you can choose to appoint different people to look after different aspects. One type is a Health and Welfare Power of Attorney, who will be responsible for making decisions about your overall wellbeing, including where you live, any medical treatment or medications, your diet and day-to-day things like your routine or how you dress. The other type is a Property and Financial Affairs Power of Attorney, responsible for making decisions about your property and assets and managing any financial accounts you have.
You will only be able to appoint an LPA when you have the capacity to do so, meaning it will be easier for family or a trusted friend to fulfil this role if a time of need arose. It is possible for your loved ones to apply for this authority if needed, but the process is much more difficult and cumbersome.
If you’re thinking about putting a Lasting Power of Attorney in place, contact our Private Client team to see which type might be right for you. We are also able to offer Will and LPA packages if you’re looking to have both documents drafted at the same time. To get in touch with our team, phone 01491 411 884.