Who can make an LPA?
To make an LPA you must be over the age of 18. You must also have the mental capacity to make this decision. This means you are deciding for yourself that you wish to make the LPA, and you understand what this means.
What happens if I don’t make an LPA?
If you don’t make an LPA and become unable to make certain decisions for yourself, there may be a time when no one can do this for you, as no one will have the legal power to act on your behalf.
This situation can make things like paying bills, including care fees, difficult, as well as making decisions about your future care. In this case, someone may need to apply to the Court of Protection to become your Deputy.
This can give them similar powers to that of an attorney. A relative or friend can apply to be your Deputy, or a professional may be appointed.
The process of becoming a Deputy is a lot more time-consuming and expensive than an LPA.
There are also ongoing requirements that a Deputy must fulfil such as paying an annual fee and also submitting an annual report, so it can be easier for someone to be an attorney rather than a Deputy.
It should be noted that this is a court procedure and will entail instructing a solicitor and consequently legal costs and court fees.
It is also not a quick procedure.
Who can be an attorney?
You can choose anyone you wish to be your attorney, as long as they are over 18.
For a property and affairs LPA they cannot be bankrupt. It’s important to think carefully about who you will appoint. Think about who you trust to make these decisions for you, and also whether the person is reliable and has the skills to carry out the role. You can choose to have more than one attorney.
Making a decision
Some people will be able to make decisions about somethings but not others, or their ability to make decisions may change from day to day.
Taking time to understand or communicate may be mistaken for a lack of mental capacity but having dementia, for example, doesn’t necessarily mean someone can’t make any decisions themselves. If someone is having difficulty communicating what they want, an attempt should always be made to overcome those difficulties and help the person decide for themselves
Before someone can make a decision for you, they must have reasonable belief that you cannot make that particular decision yourself. The words ‘reasonable belief” are important because your mental capacity can change over time. The person making a decision for you must make sure they are acting in your best interests.
Any decision made or action taken on your behalf must be made in your best interests.
The duties of your attorney
You can restrict the types of decisions your attorney can make, or let them make all decisions on your behalf. If you’re setting up a Property and Financial Affairs LPA, your attorney must keep accounts and make sure their money is kept separate from yours. You can ask for regular details of how much is spent and how much money you have. This offers you an extra layer of protection. You can also request that, if you lose mental capacity, these details are sent to your solicitor or a family member.
Your attorney can claim back any expenses they incur as a result of their role as your attorney – postage, travel costs or photocopying costs, for example. They can claim these from your money, keeping an account of any expenses and relevant receipts.
However, they can’t claim for time spent carrying out their duties (this would only be the case if you appoint a professional attorney, such as a solicitor).
How can someone ensure they make a decision in my best interests?
• do everything possible to encourage you to participate
• consider your past and present feelings, especially any expression of your wishes you made, such as an advance statement
• consider any of your beliefs and values that could influence the decision
• talk to other people, such as your family, carers or friends, who know about your feelings, beliefs and values and can suggest what might be in your best interests
• always remember your right to privacy and that it might not be appropriate to share information about you with everyone
• know about any exceptions, such as if you have made an advance decision to refuse medical treatment
Power of Attorney for Property and affairs
LPA A property and affairs LPA covers decisions about your finances and property. If there comes a time when you can’t manage your finances anymore, the attorney will do this for you. This can include paying your bills, collecting your income and benefits, or selling your house.
Power of Attorney for Health and welfare
LPA A health and welfare LPA allows the attorney to make decisions on your behalf about your health and welfare, if there comes a time when you are unable to make these decisions for yourself.
A health and welfare attorney could make decisions about where you live, for example, or day-to-day care including your diet and what you wear.
Benefits of making an LPA
There are a number of reasons you may wish to make an LPA:
• It can be reassuring to know that, if you are unable to make a decision for yourself in the future, your chosen person will make these decisions for you.
• Making an LPA ensures that the person you want to make decisions for you will be able to do so. This prevents a stranger, or someone you may not trust, from having this power.
• An LPA can reduce problems that may occur in the future. It can be more expensive and time-consuming for family or friends to try to gain a similar power in the future.
• Making an LPA can help prompt discussions with your family or others about your future wishes.
Who can make an LPA?
To make an LPA you must be over the age of 18. You must also have the mental capacity to make this decision. This means you are deciding for yourself that you wish to make the LPA, and you understand what this means. 2005.
Who can be an attorney?
You can choose anyone you wish to be your attorney, as long as they are over 18. For a property and affairs LPA they cannot be bankrupt. It’s important to think carefully about who you will appoint.
Think about who you trust to make these decisions for you, and also whether the person is reliable and has the skills to carry out the role. You can choose to have more than one attorney.