What type of decisions can be made under a lasting power of attorney?
There are two types of lasting powers of attorney (LPA):
- Property and financial affairs;
- Personal welfare.
You can choose to make one type of LPA or both.
Property and financial affairs
This LPA gives the person you have appointed to make decisions on your behalf (your “attorney”) the power to make decisions about money and property. This LPA can be used as soon as it is registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. It is open to you to specify whether your attorney should have authority to make decisions on your behalf while you are still able to make decisions yourself (i.e. you have “mental capacity”), or only after you lose mental capacity.
A property and financial affairs LPA can include making decisions on the following issues:
- Buying and selling property, or arranging repairs to your property;
- Paying bills, including your mortgage or care fees;
- Claiming/ collecting benefits, income, inheritance or other entitlement on your behalf;
- Opening/closing bank accounts;
- Dealing with your tax affairs;
- Applying for entitlement to funding for NHS care, social care or adaptations to your property;
- Buying a vehicle or equipment you need;
- Investing money on your behalf.
This LPA can only be used once you are no longer able to make your own decisions (i.e. you have “lost mental capacity”). It can cover decisions about healthcare and personal welfare, including the following:
- Where you should live;
- Medical care/treatment you should receive;
- Your daily routine, including eating, washing, and dressing;
- Who you should have contact with;
- Whether you should have life-sustaining treatment in the event of you becoming seriously unwell.
You can restrict/ specify the types of decisions your attorney can make on your behalf, or you can allow them to make all decisions on your behalf. An LPA can deal with temporary decisions, such as paying your bills while you are in the hospital, or help you to make long-term plans, such as where you will live in the future.
If you need any assistance in setting up an LPA, our experienced Court of Protection team will be happy to assist.
Please see related posts from Nicola on whether to make an LPA, how to make an LPA, who to appoint as an attorney, bringing an LPA to an end, and how an LPA differs from an enduring power of attorney.