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

  • The decisions that you want to be made on your behalf if you lose capacity to make them yourself
  • The people you want to make these decisions
  • How you want the people to make these decisions

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:

  • Paying bills such as utility bills and care home fees
  • Claiming benefits, pensions and allowances
  • Operating bank or building society accounts
  • Giving gifts to family members or charities
  • Buying or selling property

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:

  • Your day-to-day activities like your diet, dress, or daily routine.
  • The kind of accommodation best suited for your needs such as whether to stay in your home with support from social services or move into residential or other care outside your home
  • Giving or refusing consent to particular types of health care, including medical treatment decisions

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.

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