What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
A Lasting Power of Attorney, or LPA, is a legal document that allows you to choose someone to make decisions on your behalf during your lifetime. The people appointed to look after your affairs are called the Attorneys. These powers will stay in place even if you lose your ability to make decisions yourself, allowing your attorneys to ensure that everything continues to run smoothly for you, whatever happens.
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney:
A property and finance LPA lets your appointed Attorney make decisions about your property and money, including paying your bills, selling your property, and collecting your benefits or pension.
A health and welfare LPA lets your appointed Attorney make decisions about your medical treatment and care, including where you live, what medical treatment you recieve and who you can see.
Why is a Lasting Power of Attorney so important?
A Lasting Power of Attorney can give you piece of mind that there is someone you trust looking after your affairs if you should become unable to do so yourself, due to illness, old age or an accident for example.
It can allow your appointed Attorney to make decisions and deal with your health, welfare, property and finances in a way that reflects your particular wishes, so you know the things that matter most to you will be taken care of.
Without a Lasting Power of Attorney in place there is no one with legal authority to look after you and your affairs, such as choosing medical treatment, accessing bank accounts and looking after your property and estate. Many people assume that this automcatically falls to their spouse, partner or children, however in reality this simply is not the case, and for them to obtain legal authority over you would be a longer, more involved and ultimately more costly process.