What is an LPA and why is it important to have one?
A lasting power of attorney (known as an LPA) is a legal document that lets you (the ‘donor’) appoint one or more people (known as ‘attorneys’) to help you make decisions or to make decisions on your behalf. This enables you to have more control over what may happen to you and your affairs should you suffer an accident or illness and can no longer make your own decisions due to a lack in mental capacity.
There are two types of LPA;
Health and Welfare – this LPA is used to allow your attorney the power to make decisions about things like;
- Your daily routine, i.e. washing, dressing, eating
- Medical care
- Moving into a care home
- Life-sustaining treatment
It can only be used when you are unable to make your own decisions.
Property and Financial affairs – this LPA is used to allow your attorney the power to make decisions about things like;
- Managing a bank or building society account
- Paying bills
- Collecting benefits or a pension
- Selling your home
It can be used as soon as it’s registered, with your permission.
You can choose one or both types to suit your personal circumstances. In order to make an LPA, you must be over the age of 18 and have mental capacity at the time. You do not need to live in the UK or be a British citizen to make an LPA.