A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that allows you to appoint one or more people to make decisions on your behalf.
Dealing with money and paperwork can be difficult if you become unable to manage your own affairs for any reason, and in ill health it may be impossible. Before that happens it might be easier to appoint a trusted representative – known as an Attorney – who can look after your finances and welfare for you should the situation arise. The Lasting Power of Attorney or LPA is a legal document which allows you to do this.
There are two types of LPA. One for your property and finances and the second for your health and welfare.
The property and financial affairs LPA includes your bills, collecting your pension or benefits and allows for the management of your bank accounts. It also transfers the ability to sell your home if necessary, all to someone you appoint and trust.
The health and welfare LPA refers to making important choices that concern your medical affairs such as life-sustaining treatments and care. It also includes the choices made surrounding your daily routine and where you should live if you require care or assistance.
Who might need an LPA?
The main reason to set up a Lasting Power of Attorney is so that you can retain control over your life and have your loved ones make decisions for you when you are deemed to have lost ‘mental capacity.’ One of the most common causes for this can be illnesses such as Alzheimer’s or dementia. If you are diagnosed with these illnesses they can cause you to become less able to make important decisions, so it becomes essential to have someone who can act on your behalf.
What can my Attorney do?
You can give the Attorney general authority to manage all your finances, including paying your bills, signing cheques, dealing with your bank and buying or selling a property as well as making decisions on medical treatment. However, you can restrict the Attorney’s powers if you wish. As an example, a business owner might choose to have different attorneys for their personal affairs and business affairs.
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