Lasting Power of Attorney

Every person has the right to make decisions about their own life as far as they are able. From what to have for breakfast, to whether to buy a house, our lives are defined by our choices. So what happens if we become unable to make our own decisions?

We are all at risk of losing our mental capacity – whether gradually over time as a result of old age or brain illness such as Dementia, or suddenly as the result of a brain injury or condition such as stroke.

Unfortunately, you cannot predict this kind of event, but you can prepare for it. At Atkins Hope, we provide sensible, practical advice on creating a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) to appoint someone to make decisions on your behalf if you lose the capacity to do so yourself in the future.

Our expertise covers both types of LPA:

  • Property and Financial Affairs Powers of Attorney
  • Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney

For specialist advice and other information about lifetime planning, get in touch with our Lasting Power of Attorney solicitors by giving us a call at your local branch in Croydon, Medway, or Blackheath or by filling in our online enquiry form.

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document where you appoint one or more people (called Attorneys) to act on your behalf in the future if you lose the mental capacity to make decisions for yourself.

Reasons people lose their mental capacity include:

  • A brain injury
  • A brain illness such as Alzheimer’s
  • A condition such as stroke
  • A serious mental health condition
  • Old age

There are two types, a Property and Financial Affairs LPA and a Health and Welfare LPA:

Property and Financial Affairs LPA

This is a document allowing a person who has the mental capacity to do so to choose a person who he or she trusts to act on their behalf in connection with their property or finances. This might include paying bills and continuing to act on their behalf at a point in the future when they may lack the mental capacity to do so for themselves.

Health and Welfare LPA

This document allows a person to appoint another individual that they trust to make decisions about their welfare when they themselves are incapacitated, perhaps because they are unconscious.

Is a Lasting Power of Attorney necessary?

Many people assume that an LPA is only necessary if you are approaching old age or have been diagnosed with an illness.

However, because loss of mental capacity can happen very fast, it is important to consider making one regardless of your age. If you lose capacity without an LPA in place, your loved ones will not automatically be able to make important decisions about your finances and health care on your behalf. They would be required to apply to the Court of Protection for legal authorisation.

We can discuss your reasons for creating an LPA and help you decide whether making one is the right option for you.

Who should you choose for your Attorneys?

It is very important to choose a person (or people) you trust so you can be sure your Attorneys will make decisions which are in your best interests.

Usually, people choose a relative – such as an adult child or a sibling. However, some would prefer their close friends to act as their Attorneys.

We can also provide advice to Attorneys on their powers, duties and responsibilities under the LPA and provide guidance if it becomes necessary to make decisions for you.

What powers does an Attorney have?

The powers your Attorney have will be set out in the LPA document. You can specifically limit certain powers if you like.

Property and Financial Affairs LPA

A Property and Financial Affairs LPA can do things like:

  • Manage your bank accounts
  • Pay your bills
  • Pay your mortgage or rent
  • Manage your pension
  • Sell your property
  • Manage your day-to-day expenses

Health and Welfare LPA

A Health and Welfare LPA can make decisions about things like:

  • Your day-to-day activities
  • Where you live
  • Your medical treatment

Your Attorney can also make decisions about whether to accept or refuse life-sustaining treatment, but only if you specifically agree to this on the LPA document.

Other ways our lifetime planning solicitors can help you prepare for the future

At Atkins Hope, we provide a full-solution service to all your estate planning and lifetime planning needs. As well as LPAs, we can provide advice on:

Get in touch with our Lasting Power of Attorney solicitors today

To speak to one of our Lasting Power of Attorney solicitors today then please ring 0208 680 5018 or contact your local Atkins Hope office in Croydon, Medway or Blackheath.