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Lasting Power of Attorney: What you need to know

Sadly, there are times when a person loses the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves, such as through illness.

It is a difficult subject, but many of us could be affected by the lasting power of attorney, either by granting or receiving it.

That is why it is important to be aware of what it means for all involved, should it ever be necessary for your life.

What is lasting power of attorney?

Lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a legal document in which the donor (the person who has made the decision) gives an attorney (the person receiving the permission to make decisions) the right to help them make decisions or take decisions on their behalf.

LPAs can be used for property and financial affairs or health and welfare matters.

LPAs can only be used once registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. This is a government body that keeps a register of LPAs and investigates any complaints about attorneys.

Why do people choose lasting power of attorney?

With an LPA, the donor can choose a person to look after their affairs if they lose mental capacity. It is also an option for donors who develop or think they may develop an illness which stops them from making decisions for themselves.

It is important, however, that donors make an LPA while they still have mental capacity.

What types of decisions do LPAs cover?

Under an LPA, an attorney can be appointed to make financial decisions such as buying and selling property, dealing with tax and overseeing a bank account.

They can also be used to make decisions on health and welfare issues such as regarding daily care for the donor and whether to consent to medical treatment.

The LPA can also set out the decisions that attorneys are restricted to make.

When does an LPA end?

An LPA ends automatically when the donor dies. The LPA can also come to an end if the donor or attorney becomes bankrupt, the attorney dies, any marriage between the attorney and donor dissolves or if the attorney decides they no longer want to act on behalf of the donor.

If you or a loved one need advice on the lasting power of attorney, don’t hesitate to contact our expert team today.

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