Lasting Power of Attorney
Without a Lasting Power of Attorney
If you no longer have the mental capacity to look after your own affairs and you do not have a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), the Court of Protection will appoint a DEPUTY to manage your affairs for you. There may be significant legal fees to pay, plus annual supervision fees of up to £800, application fees, doctor's certification fees, a security bond, a deputy fee and a long delay before the Deputy Order is issued, and the Deputy may not always be aware of your personal circumstances. This could apply to anyone, at any age, by reason of illness, disability or mental impairment who may no longer be able to deal with even simple matters like handling a bank or building society account, claiming benefits, handling tax affairs or transacting a house sale.
It is always better to prepare an LPA before a Deputy is appointed by the Court of Protection.. An LPA must be made while you still have the mental capacity. It is too late if you have lost mental capacity.
Property and Affairs LPA
You can make a property and affairs LPA to enable someone you trust (the attorney) to make decisions on your behalf about your property and affairs at a time when you are no longer able or lack the mental capacity to take those decisions yourself. This can include paying your bills, collecting your income and benefits or selling your house, subject to any restrictions or conditions you might have included. It can only be used once it has been registered at the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG).
Personal Welfare LPA
A personal welfare LPA allows the person/s you have chosen as your attorney to make decisions on your behalf about your personal welfare, eg where you live. It can include the power for the attorney to give or refuse consent to medical treatment if this power has been expressly given in the LPA. If you do state that you do not wish to consent to specified life sustaining treatment to be given at a future time, the LPA giving the attorney the decision making power will invalidate a previous advanced decision refusing treatment, thus giving the attorney power to make the decision. A subsequent advanced decision (if applicable in the circumstances) would be binding on the attorney.