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There are two types of power of attorney, one covering property and financial issues and one covering health and welfare. In these documents you may select up to four people to act on your behalf.
If you want someone to manage your financial affairs if you lose mental capacity, you will need this type of Lasting Power of Attorney ('LPA'). It could also be useful if you become physically incapable.
An LPA covering property and financial affairs lets the people you choose (the attorneys) make decisions about:
If you want someone to manage your care and welfare affairs if you lose mental capacity, you will need this type of Lasting Power of Attorney ('LPA'). It could also be useful if you become physically incapable. The range of decisions covered by the health and welfare LPA includes:
If you lose mental capacity and have not completed an appropriate LPA, your relatives or friends can apply to the Court of Protection to be able to make any decision on your behalf as your ‘Deputy’.
Anyone can to be your Deputy. Usually it will be a family member or close friend, but a professional, such as one of our solicitors or an accountant, can do it as well (a charge will be made for the service). In certain cases, a local authority may also apply to be a Deputy as it will allow them to assess funds available for care.
Please bear in mind that once mental capacity for decision-making has been lost, there is no option but to apply to the Court of Protection, which will normally be a time consuming process, often lasting six months or more, during which time assets may be effectively frozen. It is also a relatively expensive procedure to go through when compared with obtaining an LPA. It is only on very rare occasions that a ‘Welfare Deputy’ will be appointed by the Court of Protection. We therefore ask clients to seriously consider obtaining both types of LPA in advance of reaching this point.
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