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A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document where you give another person or persons authority to make certain decisions on your behalf. Lasting Powers of Attorney were created as a Government response to concerns that some elderly people were being pressurised into giving powers of attorney to people who were acting in their interests rather than the interests of the elderly person.
There are two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney:
1. Property and Affairs – this allows your attorney or attorneys to deal with your property and finances on your behalf.
2. Welfare – this allows your attorney or attorneys to make health care decisions on your behalf if you lack mental capacity, eg because of Alzheimer's or similar debility, to do so yourself. If you wish you can outline what type of medical care you would prefer, for example would you prefer to be kept alive if you slipped into a coma or would you prefer to be allowed to die. Outlining your wishes in advance can save doctors and relatives making that decision without any guidance from you.
It is important that you choose your attorney or attorneys carefully. They need to be able to make decisions on your behalf that will affect you. So they need to be trustworthy and understand your needs to that they can make the right decisions on your behalf.
You can appoint more than one attorney and decide whether they should act jointly so they have to make decisions together or whether they should act jointly and severally so they can make both joint decisions or one can act for you, for example if an immediate decision is required on your healthcare but one attorney is travelling abroad and cannot be immediately contacted then the second attorney can be contacted instead.
You can also appoint a successor to your attorney, in case your original attorney cannot act for you. At Lawson-West, we will listen to your wishes and talk you through the implications of your decisions before we tailor-make a Lasting Power of Attorney for you.
Once your Lasting Power of Attorney has been completed and signed by you and your attorney, and it has been certified that you understand the Lasting Power of Attorney and have not been unduly pressured into making it, it will be registered with the Office of Public Guardian.
A Property and Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney can be used at any time after registration whether you have the capacity to act in financial matters or lack capacity.
A Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney can only be used if you lack capacity to make a health care decision.
Call us now on 01858 445480 or use the Contact Us form to arrange an appointment.