Lasting Power of Attorney
An individual’s next of kin do not have automatic right or legal entitlement to deal with the affairs of a family member. Only someone who is legally appointed as an Attorney can deal with the affairs of someone else.
What is an LPA?
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) outlines the appointment of an Attorney in a document, and the powers they hold if required in the future. An LPA allows the individual to deal with any affairs with the intervention of the Court with full legal authority. If the individual to whom the document relates loses mental capacity, the Attorney can deal with their affairs.
Are there different types of LPA?
Yes – there are two different types.
Property and Affairs: This type of LPA can take effect immediately or only to be effective if mental capacity is lost. This allows the Attorney to deal with all financial affairs such as transfers of money, selling property and closing bank accounts.
Personal Welfare: This can only become effective should mental capacity be lost. It allows the Attorney to make decisions on where an individual should live and health decisions such as who the doctor/dentist should be. One of the most important aspects of the Personal Welfare LPA is that the individual is able to state whether the Attorney will have the power to consent to or refuse life sustaining treatment on behalf of the individual.
Can anyone be an Attorney?
The individual can appoint one or more Attorneys, but it is imperative that they are people that the individual can trust completely. An Attorney must have appropriate knowledge of the individual’s affairs and will be able to make decisions in the best interests of the individual, and echo the decisions that they would have made, had they been of capacity.