Lasting Power of Attorney
No one likes to think about losing the ability to manage their own affairs, but the NHS estimate that over 2,000,000 people lack the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves due to dementia, mental health difficulties, brain injuries or other illnesses that may occur even in the prime of life. It is important that you nominate someone you trust now to make important decisions on your behalf.
Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) were introduced by the Mental Capacity Act 2005. They allow individuals to appoint Attorneys to look after their property and financial affairs (a Property and Financial Affairs LPA) and also to make health and personal welfare decisions (a Health and Welfare LPA) when they lack the capacity to make these decisions themselves in the future.
People involved in making an LPA
The following are the different people involved in making an LPA:
An Attorney is the person(s) you choose and appoint to make decisions on your behalf about either your health and welfare, or property and financial affairs, or both. It is an important role and one that the person chosen has to agree to take on.
A Donor is someone who makes an LPA by appointing an Attorney to make decisions about his/her health and welfare, property and financial affairs or both.
A named person is someone chosen by the Donor to be notified when an application is made to register their LPA. They have the right to object to the registration of the LPA if they have concerns about the registration. Selecting people to notify of an application to register is one of the key safeguards to protect you if you make an LPA.
A witness is someone who signs the LPA form to confirm that they witnessed:
- The Donor (the person making the LPA) signing and dating the LPA form; or
- The Attorney(s) (the person appointed by the Donor) signing and dating the LPA form.