Powers of Attorney

Lasting Powers of Attorney

Following the implementation of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 in October 2007, you can now draw up a legal document called a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) which enables you to appoint a person or persons to look after your affairs in the event of mental and/or physical incapacity, perhaps due to infirmity in old age, illness or accident.  It’s essential that such arrangements are made while you are fit and healthy, to avoid families being left with a multitude of practical problems, since the Law doesn’t allow such arrangements to be made after the event.

You can draw up an LPA to cover the management of your financial affairs (a Property & Financial Affairs LPA) and a second LPA (a Health & Welfare LPA) to cover the management of personal matters such as medical care and ultimately the acceptance or refusal of life-sustaining treatment.

While an LPA is a very powerful document, there are a number of safeguards to prevent its abuse:

An LPA is primarily used to appoint people to deal with your affairs after the onset of mental and/or physical incapacity.  However before the document can be used, certain people (who you nominate when drafting the LPA) have to be notified and they can object if they are not happy with the reasons why the document is being brought into effect.

You can include restrictions on what the people you appoint can and cannot do and you can include advice and guidance on how you would like them to act.

When the LPA is signed, a certificate must be completed to confirm that when creating the document you understood the meaning and consequences of it

Like your Will, an LPA can be updated or cancelled at any time should your circumstances change.

Please note: the contents of these pages are published as an information guide only and are not a definitive guide to the law and Estate Planning Matters can accept no responsibility for any errors or omissions on this site or any site to which these pages connect