A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) allows you to appoint someone to make decisions on your behalf should you no longer have the ability to do so.
There are two types of LPA: property and financial, and health and welfare. You can arrange to have either type or both types.
If you lose mental capacity and therefore the ability to make your own decisions, a person whom you trust – your attorney- can make those decisions on your behalf.
When is the right time to make a Lasting Power of Attorney
The best time to make an LPA is now. You can only make a power of attorney while you are still capable of making your own decisions. No one can make a power of attorney on your behalf. It is therefore best to view it as an insurance against unpredictable future events.
How long does it take to make a Lasting Power of Attorney
Once the forms have been completed they are sent to the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). The OPG must approve the application before an LPA can be used. It can take the OPG up to 20 weeks to approve your application. Therefore it is best to factor in around six months overall.
What happens if I don’t have a Lasting Power of Attorney in place and I lose capacity?
If you leave making a Lasting Power of Attorney too late, and someone has to step in to deal with your finances, they will need to apply to the Court of Protection (CoP). Applications to the CoP are expensive and take a considerable amount of time. It also means that while your potential attorney is awaiting the CoP’s decision, they will have no access to your finances which could leave them having to pay for your care and other expenses.
None of us like to think that we will lose our ability to make our own decisions but if we have a life-changing illness or accident knowing we have made provision for this can help make a distressing situation less traumatic for all involved.
How to make a Lasting Power of Attorney
Contact us on 01704 532890 to book in with a solicitor who will guide you through the process of making a Lasting Power of Attorney.