estate planning


A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a way of giving someone you trust the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf if you lack mental capacity at some time in the future or no longer wish to make decisions for yourself.

There are two types of LPA:

1. LPA for financial decisions

2. LPA for health and care decisions

1. LPA for financial decisions

This can be used while someone still has mental capacity or you can state in your LPA application that you only want it to come into force if your lose capacity. An attorney (the person who makes decisions for you) can generally make decisions on things such as:

buying and selling property

paying the mortgage

investing money

paying bills

arranging repairs to property.

You can restrict the types of decision your attorney can make, or let them make all financial decisions on your behalf.

2. LPA for health and care decisions

This covers decisions about healthcare as well as personal welfare and can only be used if and when you lose mental capacity. An attorney can generally make decisions about things such as:

where you should live

your medical care

what you should eat

who you should have contact with

what kind of social activities you should take part in.

You can also give special permission for your attorney to make decisions about life-saving treatment.

If you’re setting up an LPA for financial decisions, your attorney must keep accounts and make sure their money is kept separate from your money.

You can request regular details of how much is spent and how much income you have. This offers you an extra layer of protection. If you lose mental capacity, these details can be sent to your solicitor or a family member.

Lasting powers of attorney were introduced in October 2007, replacing the old system of Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA). An EPA created before October 2007 remains valid.

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