A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a legal document that lets you (the ‘donor’) appoint one or more people (known as ‘attorneys’) to help you make decisions or make decisions on your behalf.
This gives you more control over what happens to you if, for example, you have an accident or an illness and can’t make decisions at the time they need to be made (you ‘lack mental capacity’).
From October 2007, a donor can make Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA). This supersedes the previous Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) which no longer applies since it could be used by an attorney while the donor still had capacity to manage their affairs. Those with an existing EPA are being encouraged to modify it to a Lasting Power of Attorney.
There are two types of LPA:
– A Property and Financial Affairs LPA – by which you would give your Attorney authority to deal with your property and finances
– A Health and Welfare LPA – by which you’d give your attorney authority to make welfare and health care decisions on your behalf. This can only be used when you lack mental capacity to make these decisions yourself.
In both instances, the document must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before it can be used.