No-one wants to imagine the worst happening to them, but failing to plan for the future could make things very tricky for the people closest to you. If you or a loved one was found to Lack Mental Capacity, you would no longer be able to make decisions for yourself. This could place friends or relatives in a very awkward situation.
Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA)
These are legal documents that allow you (the ‘donor’) to appoint one or more people (known as ‘attorneys’) to help you make decisions or to make decisions on your behalf if a situation was to arise where you were unable. In order to make an LPA, you must be 18 or over and be deemed to have mental capacity. In some cases it is necessary to ask a third party such as your GP to confirm this.
There are 2 types of LPA, and you can make one or both:
- Health and welfare
- Property and financial affairs
Our Private Client team can guide you through the process of choosing an attorney and applying for an LPA. We will also assist in registering it with the Office of the Public Guardian.
Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA)
These documents are similar to LPA’s but would have been made prior to 1st October 2007, when the Mental Health Act 2005 came into force. An EPA allowed the appointment of an attorney to deal with your property and affairs, but not your health and welfare. An EPA can be used before registration, and your attorney is only required to register the document with the Office of the Public Guardian in the event that you have lost (or are losing) the mental capacity to manage your own finances.
In practice an attorney acting under an EPA will find that banks and other financial institutions are increasingly reluctant to accept the authority of an EPA until it has been registered.