When entrusting your decision making to someone else, the right way to do it is to arrange a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). What is an LPA? An LPA is a legal document that lets you appoint someone you trust as an ‘attorney’ to make decisions on your behalf. It enables you to plan ahead for a time when you may no longer have the mental capacity to make decisions for yourself. It can be drawn up at any time while you have mental capacity, but has no legal standing until it is registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. You can create two types of LPA: • A Property and Financial Affairs LPA allows you to choose someone to make decisions about how to spend your money and the way your property and financial affairs are managed. • A Health and Welfare LPA allows you to choose someone to make decisions about your healthcare, medical treatments and personal welfare. Who can you choose to be your attorney(s)? Choose your attorney(s). It can be a number of people – either jointly or separately – who are then authorised to act in your name. Registering an LPA An LPA must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before it can be used. An unregistered LPA will not give the attorney any legal powers to make a decision for the donor. You can register the LPA while you have capacity, or an appointed attorney can apply to register the LPA at any time. Contact our Wills Probate Trusts Unit for more information about LPAs and the registration process.
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