Power of Attorney – the different types

A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a way of giving someone you trust, your attorney the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf if you lose the mental capacity to do so in the future.

What are the different types of power of attorney

There are two main types of LPA:

  • LPA for financial decisions
  • LPA for health and care decisions

You can choose to make one type or both.

LPA for financial decisions

An LPA for financial decisions can be used while you still have mental capacity or you can state that you only want it to be used when you lose capacity.

An LPA for financial decisions can be used for:

  • buying and selling property
  • paying the mortgage
  • investing money
  • paying bills
  • arranging repairs to property

As with any LPA you can restrict the types of decisions your attorney can make, or let them make all the decisions on your behalf. The LPA for financial decisions can be used as soon as it is registered, with your permission.

If you sent up an LPA for financial decisions, accounts must be kept by your attorney and their money must be kept separate from yours. You can request regular details of how much has been spent and how much money you have left. These details can be shared with a solicitor or other family member if you lose mental capacity, offering an extra level of protection.

LPA for health and care decisions

LPA for health and care decisions can only be used once you have lost mental capacity.

Your attorney will generally make decisions about:

  • Where you should live
  • Your medical care
  • What you should eat
  • Who you should have contact with
  • What kind of social activities you should take part in.
  • Special permission can also be given to make decisions about life-saving treatment.

If you are married or in a civil partnership, you shouldn’t assume that your spouse would automatically be able to deal with your bank account and pensions and make decisions about your healthcare, if you lose the ability to do so. Without an LPA, they won’t have the authority.

How to make a lasting power of attorney

  1. Choose your attorney, note that you can have more than one,
  2. Fill in the forms to appoint them as an attorney,
  3. Register your LPA with the Office of the Public Guardian (this can take up to 20 weeks).

It costs £82 to register an LPA unless you get a reduction or exemption.

If you would like additional information regarding lasting power of attorney, then please get in touch.

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