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If you lose mental capacity at some point – for whatever reason – if you have not completed an LPA, other people may need to apply to the Court of Protection to be able to make decisions on your behalf. This can be costly, demanding and stressful for your relatives, friends and carers.
An LPA allows you to plan in advance
A Financial Decisions LPA offers peace of mind that people you trust will be legally allowed to manage your property and financial affairs on your behalf should the need arise. This could include the following:
Without a Lasting Power of Attorney, your loved ones will find it very difficult to manage your financial affairs for you effectively as they will not have legal authority to do so.
A Health & Care Decisions LPA allows your Attorneys to make decisions regarding your personal welfare, and any medical treatment that you may need, on your behalf. It is particularly useful if you are worried about your state of health or wish to nominate others to decide upon the type of treatment and care you receive in the future in the event that you are unable to make those decisions yourself.
A Health & Care LPA offers peace of mind by allowing you to legally appoint people that you trust to make decisions on your behalf. It allows you to discuss in advance your preferences regarding your care and treatment should you lose mental capacity.
Once a Health & Care LPA has been registered, your Attorneys can only make decisions for you when you lack mental capacity to make decisions yourself.
Your Attorneys will be able to make decisions (taking into account your views set out in your Health & Care LPA) on things such as:
If you have already made an Enduring Power of Attorney (before October 2007), it is still valid, but does not allow your Attorneys to make decisions about your health and welfare.
It is important to remember that for a Lasting Power of Attorney to be effective, it must be registered with The Office of Public Guardian. Your Attorneys can only act on your behalf once the LPA has been registered. If it is a Health & Care LPA, then they can only act once the LPA has been registered and you have lost mental capacity. You will continue to make decisions until you begin to lack capacity to do so.