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Elderly Advice / Lasting Power Of Attorney
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) allows you to appoint someone to make
certain decisions on your behalf. The appointed persons can manage your
finances for you in the future if you reach a point where you are no longer
able to make decisions for yourself.
It lets you choose a person (or people) you trust to act for you.
This person is referred to as your attorney.
A property and affairs LPA covers decisions about your finances and property. If there comes a time when you can't manage your finances anymore, the attorney will be able do this for you. This can include paying your bills, collecting your income and benefits, or renting or selling your house.
A health and personal welfare LPA allows your chosen Attorney to make decisions about:
where you’re cared for
the type of care you receive
day-to-day things like your diet, how you dress and your daily routine.
You can list any instructions that your attorney must follow, or any preferences that you’d like them to take into account when making decisions on your behalf.
Decisions about life-sustaining treatment
You’ll also need to choose whether or not you want your attorney to be able to make decisions about life-sustaining treatment. If you choose not to, then all decisions about life-sustaining treatment will be made by your healthcare team, unless you’ve made an Advance Decision (Living Will).
Any decision your attorney makes must be made in your best interests.
It can only be used once it has been registered at the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). It can then be used even while you have mental capacity to deal with these things yourself.
There are a number of reasons you may wish to make an LPA:
It can be reassuring to know that, if you are unable to make a decision for yourself in the future, your chosen person will make these decisions for you.
Making an LPA ensures that the person you want to make decisions for you will be able to do so. This prevents a stranger, or someone you may not trust, from having this power.
An LPA can reduce problems that may occur in the future. It can be more expensive and time-consuming for family or friends to try to gain a similar power in the future.
Making an LPA can help prompt discussions with your family or others about your future wishes.
The LPA will mean that your Attorneys can help you if you become physically unable to deal with your affairs.
To make an LPA you must have the mental capacity to make this decision. This means you are deciding for yourself that you wish to make the LPA, and you understand what this means.
You can choose anyone you wish to be your attorney, as long as they are over 18. It's important to think carefully about who you will appoint. Think about who you trust to make these decisions for you, and also whether the person is reliable and has the skills to carry out the role. You can choose to have more than one attorney.