Lasting Power of Attorney
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Making a lasting power of attorney allows you to choose who will help you make decisions about your life at a time when you may need this help. There are two types of lasting power of attorney (LPA). One type lets you nominate another person or people, your attorneys, to help you make decisions about your finances. This includes decisions about your investments and house.
The other type of lasting power of attorney lets you ask your attorney or attorneys to make decisions about your health. This includes best interests decisions about where you should live and whether you should receive life sustaining treatment. It is not the same as an advanced decision. If you do not make a lasting power of attorney and you lose mental capacity to make decisions for yourself, then a deputy will need to be appointed by the Court of Protection.
WE ADVISED SARAH AND ENSURED THAT THE LASTING POWERS OF ATTORNEY WERE MADE QUICKLY AND WITH THE KNOWLEDGE OF HER THREE CHILDREN TO AVOID LATER DISPUTE.
Sarah was a widow in her 70’s with three children. One of her children, Peter, lived in the USA. One of her daughters, Karen, lived 200 miles away and her youngest daughter, Wendy, lived nearby. Sarah had always lived a very active life, but had recently started having issues with her memory.
What did Karen do?
She decided to make lasting powers of attorney, appointing Wendy as her attorney with Karen as her replacement attorney, for both her financial affairs and her healthcare decisions. We advised Sarah and worked with her general practitioner to ensure that the lasting powers of attorney were made quickly and with the knowledge of her three children to avoid later dispute.
All names have been changed to protect the identities of the individuals
Court of Protection
Sometimes there can be disagreements in families as to how a lasting power of attorney should operate, what powers the attorney should have, who should be an attorney and how it was created.
If this happens, an application to the Court of Protection may need to be made so that they can decide how the lasting power of attorney should work. Our team are very experienced at dealing with such disputes and aim to try and resolve matters without having to engage in lengthy and expensive Court of Protection proceedings.
Advance Decisions and Living Wills
Our experienced team is able to offer advice and guidance to those clients who wish to make a Living Will / Advance Decision.
An Advance Decision is essentially a document which an individual who has the necessary mental capacity can make setting out which medical treatments they wish to refuse in the event those treatments become necessary or an option.
This process cannot be used to request specific medical treatment; nor can it be used to request an illegal act, such as help in committing suicide.
If a person wishes someone else to make these decisions for them then they will instead require a Lasting Power of Attorney for health and welfare matters. The law relating to Advance Decisions is covered by the Mental Capacity Act 2005. By law a valid Advance Decision refusing life-saving treatment means a person cannot be treated. If a Doctor subsequently provided that treatment then legal action could be taken against them.
Set up your Lasting Power of Attorney
Our expert team includes solicitors that work closely with the Office of the Public Guardian, who supervise attorneys regarding changes to lasting powers of attorney and how they are made.
We can help you to put safeguards in place that will protect you and your family against the future. Call us today to find out more.0800 044 8488