A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a piece of legal documentation that allows you to appoint a person to assist you in making decisions, or to make them on your behalf.

Appointing an LPA gives you greater control over what may happen to you should you suffer an illness or accident that renders you unable to make decisions for yourself because you are lacking the mental capacity necessary.

To nominate an LPA, you must have the mental capacity to make decisions for yourself and be over 18 years of age. You don’t need to be either a British citizen or UK resident.

The two kinds of LPA are property and financial affairs LPAs, and health and welfare LPAs.

Property and financial affairs LPA

This LPA can be used to give your chosen attorney power to make your decisions regarding property and money.

These may include selling on you home, collection of your personal or government pensions or benefits, paying necessary bills, and managing your building society or banking accounts.

As soon as you’ve registered this LPA, it can be used with permission from yourself.

Health and welfare LPA

This LPA can be used to provide the attorney you’ve picked with the power to make a variety of decisions for you.

These could include your basic day-to-day routine such as eating, washing and dressing. It can also include any medical care that may be necessary and whether you should move from your house into a care home. Decisions regarding life-sustaining treatment also come under it.

This type of LPA can only be utilised if you’re no longer able to make your decisions.

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