What are LPAs and who needs them?

What are LPAs and who needs them?

LPA

LPA stands for Lasting Power of Attorney. It is a legal document which allows decisions to be made for you, or actions to be completed on your behalf, if you are no longer able to make your own choices.

There are two types of LPA:

Lasting Powers of Attorney for Health and Care Decisions

This type of Lasting Powers of Attorney can only be used when mental capacity has been lost. Decisions made under this LPA might include:

  • Where you should live
  • The medical care you should receive
  • The food you eat and the activities you take part in
  • Who contact should be made with.

It might even include special permission for the attorney to make life saving treatment decisions for you.

Lasting Powers of Attorney Financial Decisions

This type of LPA can be used whilst you still have mental capacity. You can state that it comes into force if you lose capacity. The types of things it might cover include:

  • Buying and selling property
  • Mortgage payments
  • Money investments
  • Bill payment
  • Property repairs.

Who needs an LPA?

There may come a day where you are no longer able to make decisions for yourself. It’s not a pleasant thought but it’s entirely possible and it’s happening to many people every single day.

The elderly in particular are most likely require the use of an LPA. Dementia is one of the main culprits for leaving individuals unable to make their own decisions. One person develops dementia every three minutes in the UK and the national figure is expected to reach over 1 million by 2025.

Nominating someone to be in charge of your affairs, whilst you still have the ability to do so, goes some way to providing you with peace of mind that you will be looked after as you wish.

What happens if you don’t have an LPA?

In cases where an individual is no longer able to make their own decisions and does not have an LPA in place, your solicitor or a family member will have to apply to the Court of Protection to be appointed as your deputy.

You may not have expressed you wishes to the person who becomes your deputy, which means you may not find yourself in a situation you’d hoped for. Having an LPA in place ensures that you do.

Preparing your Lasting Power of Attorney

With an LPA, someone you know will have a lot of responsibility placed in their hands. It’s important, therefore, that they know exactly what you want, and your LPA is set up correctly.

For your LPA to be valid, you must have demonstrated to a suitably qualified person that you understand the purpose and scope of the appointment and the powers your attorneys will have on your behalf.

Face to Face Estate Planning are able to perform this role. We can prepare your LPA, including incorporating any restrictions on its use.

Your LPA must be registered with the Court of Protection before they can be used. This process can take a long time so the sooner you start to think about it, the better.

My family isn’t willing to take on the role. What can I do?

Some people, even your family members, may not be willing to take on the responsibility of being your attorney. In this case, you can appoint a professional attorney. Face to Face Estate Planning can take on that role for you. We fully understand our role and responsibilities and will always have your best interest at heart.

Please do get in touch if you would like to discuss getting an LPA set up. We know it can be a difficult thing to talk about, but our friendly team will happily talk you through the process and make it much less daunting. We can even come and chat about it over a cup of tea in the comfort of your own home.