Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) are considered to be one of the most important areas of planning you can put in place during your lifetime for yourself.
Steve Bryan of Eagle Estate Planning led the implementation for the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) across Derbyshire between 2008 and 2010 but more specifically across Derby until 2012. He lectures on its application. The MCA introduced Lasting Powers of Attorney.
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney. The first and most commonly registered Lasting Power is a Property and Financial Affairs LPA and the second type is a Personal Welfare LPA. You can appoint a single Attorney or more than one Attorney.
The Property and Financial Affairs LPA allows the attorney(s) to deal with all financial matters and the financial institutions will only allow action to be taken upon its production. The Personal Welfare LPA allows the attorney(s) to make decisions about all health and care issues. You will recognise they both have distinct areas of decision making and authorised actions.
A person over 18 years can donate their authority to another trusted person(s) or a trust corporation to make decisions for them when they lack the mental ability to do so themselves. Usually the attorney(s) are family members, husband and wife, sons and daughters. The attorney(s) always have to act in the person’s best interest and that is why family members are usually appointed. It can of course be non-family members. Attorneys have to be over 18 and not a bankrupt.
People lose mental capacity for many reasons and capacity can fluctuate over time. People become ill for instance dementia or stroke or in some cases sustain a significant head injury, possibly through a serious road accident or sporting injury.
What would you do if you were in the position of looking after a family member who had lost mental capacity to make their own decisions and take actions for themselves? Now consider what you would do if the legal authority was not in place for you to take the actions that needed to be taken?
You can put an LPA in place before you lose or start to lose capacity. The Office of the Public Guardian regulates LPA’s. The problem for family members occurs when no LPA has been put in place and one is needed.
Consider putting in place LPA’s to ensure that you have had the opportunity to make arrangements to enable trusted people to look after you if you lose mental capacity.
For more information or to put Lasting Powers of Attorney in place contact Steve Bryan on 07854 585 585 or by email firstname.lastname@example.org