Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) come in two types. The LPA for financial decisions are similar to the old-style Enduring Powers of Attorney and allow you to nominate a trusted person or persons to act on your behalf to manage your finances for you. Restrictions can be placed so that the LPA can only be used if you have lost the ability to deal with your finances yourself, or so that only certain assets can be dealt with by your attorneys, or if you have more than one attorney, they have to act together on your behalf.
The health and welfare LPA allows your attorneys to make decisions on your behalf as to what health care you may wish to have, or what home or care home you should live in. A health and welfare LPA can only be used by the attorneys if you have lost the ability to make these decisions for yourself. This is unlike a financial LPA, which (subject to any restrictions you have included) could still be used by your attorneys even if you are still well.
What is the benefit of making LPAs? If you are having problems getting out of the home to deal with your finances, then making a financial decisions LPA and appointing attorneys such as trusted friends or family members can take a lot of stress off your shoulders. Also, if the worst should happen (such as a stroke or dementia) then the attorneys will still be able to deal with your affairs. This is what distinguishes an LPA from an ordinary power of attorney which can no longer be used if you have lost the capacity to deal with your affairs yourself.
Increasingly, a health and welfare LPA is useful for similar reasons. If you have strong views as to what medical care you would wish to receive or where you wish to live, then making a health and welfare LPA would give your attorneys the ability to speak for you.
Please contact either James Ashby or Anna Neil at our office in Taunton and they would be pleased to provide more information and discuss the process and costs of making an LPA with you.