What is a lasting power of attorney
A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is one or more people who are officially appointed by you that will make decisions on your behalf. It is the only way to ensure important decisions are made by someone you trust, should you ever be unable to do so. It gives the people you trust full control over decisions regarding your finances and/or your health and welfare, acting in your best interests at a time when you are unable to make these decisions for yourself, or choose not to make them any longer.
Putting these measures in place now can provide peace of mind and protection for you and your family in the future. There are two types of LPA:
Lasting power of attorney health and welfare
This allows you to plan ahead by choosing one or more people to make decisions on your behalf regarding your personal healthcare and welfare. You can decide to give them the power to make decisions about any or all of your health and welfare matters. This could involve some significant decisions, such as:
Giving or refusing consent to particular types of health care, including medical treatment decisions.
Whether you continue to live in your own home, perhaps with help and support from social services, or whether residential care would be more appropriate for you.
Lasting power of attorney property and financial affairs
This allows you to plan ahead by choosing one or more people to make decisions on your behalf regarding your property and financial affairs. With this type of LPA, you can choose those you trust most to manage your finances and property whilst you still have capacity, as well as when you lack capacity. For example, it may be easier for you to give someone the power to carry out tasks such as paying your bills or collecting your benefits or other income.
This might be easier for lots of reasons: you might find it difficult to get about or to talk on the telephone, or you might be out of the country for long periods of time. You can decide to give your attorney(s) the power to make decisions about any or all of your property and financial affairs such as:
- Paying your bills
- Collecting your benefits
- Selling your house
- Drawing further funds from an equity release plan
- Managing bank and/or building society accounts, including savings
For more information on lasting power of attorneys, please visit www.gov.uk/power-of-attorney.
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