Lasting Power of Attorney

A Lasting Power of Attorney (‘LPA’) is a legal document which allows a person to appoint someone they trust (the ‘Attorney’) to make decisions for them when they no longer have the mental capacity to make them themselves. A LPA has to be made while the person concerned (the ‘Donor’) still has the mental capacity to give their consent to handing over their affairs.

For people who fear losing mental capacity at some stage, the advantage of a LPA is that planning can be made for such an eventuality.  With a LPA you can plan for the decisions you want to be made on your behalf, the people you want to make those decisions and how you want the people concerned to make those decisions. In this way you can plan how your health, personal and financial matters can best be handled should you lack the capability to do so yourself.

The consequence of not preparing a LPA could mean that a mentally incapable person’s loved ones would have to make an application to the Court of Protection to be appointed as a “Deputy” to be able to access their finances. This can be a long as well as a costly process. Those with no close relatives would have an Independent Mental Capacity Adviser appointed by the court.

LPAs allow a Donor to nominate different Attorneys to assume responsibility for different decisions. For example, one Attorney may be responsible for finances and another responsible for decisions relating to the Donor's personal welfare.

Whatever the scope of their decision making responsibilities, Attorneys are under a duty to act in the Donor's best interests at all times.

LPAs will only become valid once they are registered with the Court of Protection. Once the LPA has been registered with the Court, your Attorney(s) will be able to act on your behalf in accordance with the terms of the LPA.

We advise all of our clients to create a LPA at the same time as making a Will.

It is vital to give consideration as to whom you wish to nominate as your Attorney(s).  Our team are experienced in writing detailed and effective LPAs and are on hand to provide the advice and guidance you need.  Please contact us on wills@winstonsolicitors.co.uk or phone us on 0113 320 5000.

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