A Lasting Power of Attorney allows you to make provision for what should happen to you in the future should you subsequently become unable to make decisions for yourself. A Lasting Power of Attorney enables you to appoint a friend or family member who you trust to act and make decisions on your behalf.
You can only grant a Lasting Power of Attorney whilst you are mentally able to and are deemed to have capacity. It is therefore crucial that you plan ahead and take steps now whilst you are still fit and healthy. This is particularly relevant as a Lasting Power of Attorney will need to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before it can be used and that registration process can be lengthy.
There are two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney that you can put in place:
i) Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney
This will allow you to choose an individual or individuals to make decisions on your behalf for such things as the medical treatment you may or may not receive.
It is important to note that this type of Power of Attorney may only be used by your Attorney if you do not have capacity to make the relevant decisions yourself.
ii) Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney
This will allow you to choose an individual or individuals to make decisions on your behalf regarding your property or financial affairs. Such decisions can range from organising payment of your day to day bills right up to the sale of your home.
The Power of Attorney will be valid as soon as it is registered, irrespective of whether or not you have capacity. However, as a safeguard, within the Power of Attorney you can state that your Attorney can only make decisions when you are no longer able to do so yourself.
Without a Lasting Power of Attorney, it will be more difficult for your family and friends to manage your affairs, and depending on your circumstances, may mean that they will need to apply to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship Order. For further details about this, please see our guide to Deputyship Orders
Our Lasting Powers of Attorney Team