When someone loses the capacity to deal with their own affairs, it is distressing for them and those closest to them. If those closest are unable to assist because they have no authority, it can only add to the strain. At Hanne & Co, our team of expert lawyers specialise in lasting powers of attorney.
Setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney
Setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney allows us to choose someone that we trust to deal with our affairs should the need arise. This allows them to make decisions on your behalf and prevent disputes over wills and estates.
LPA’s were put in place in 2007 and replaced the Enduring Power of Attorney. The main difference is that there are two different types of LPA. There is a LPA dealing with Property and Affairs and one dealing with Health and Welfare. The Court of Protection has the power to decide if a person lacks capacity to make decisions and whether a LPA should take over. Find out more from our ‘What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?’ article.
Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney
Property and Affairs LPA’s provide authority for an attorney to act in relation to the donor’s property and financial affairs; this can be effective even whilst the donor has capacity unless this is expressly restricted. For example, this can allow the attorney simply to pay bills on the part of the donor, which on a practical level can be most useful. The power can, however, also permit the attorney to ensure that the donor’s property is dealt with effectively if necessary.
Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney
Health and Welfare LPA’s allow attorneys only to make decisions when the donor loses the capacity to do so. Making such an authority now, allows the donor to decide what decisions should be made on their part. This type of LPA allows the attorney to do things as simple as buy shopping for the donor or something as critical as decide what care and treatment the donor receives.
There are a number of safeguards in place to ensure that such powers cannot be abused. All forms of LPA must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before they can be used and a certificate must be produced for all donors verifying that they have capacity at the time of making the LPA. The Court of Protection is responsible for determining disputes over the registration of LPA’s. Finally, the donor can nominate certain people to be informed once an application is being made for the Power to be registered.
How can Hanne & Co help?
Contact our private client department if you would like any further information about making a Lasting Power of Attorney or any other legal assistance you require.