A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document when you give another person or persons authority to make certain decisions on your behalf.
Lasting Powers of Attorney are extremely powerful documents and as such it is important that you are correctly advised in connection to the making of a Lasting Power of Attorney.
1. What type of Power of Attorney can I make?
There are two different types of Lasting Power of Attorney.
i) Property and Affairs
This allows your Attorney or Attorneys to deal with your property and financial matters on your behalf.
This allows your Attorney or Attorneys to make health care decisions on your behalf if you lack mental capacity and can involve the type of medical treatment you may receive (including life preserving treatment) and where you may live. You can express your wishes (for example whether you wish to be kept alive if you slipped into a coma or whether you would prefer to be allowed to die).
Outlining your wishes in advance can save relatives the painful duty of having to make that decision without any guidance from you about what you may want to happen.
2. Who should I appoint as Attorneys?
You must always appoint your Attorney having given it some considerable thought. The Attorney will be able to make decisions on your behalf that affect you and so they may need to be both trustworthy and also understand your needs and wishes so that they can make the right decisions on your behalf. You can appoint more than one Attorney and decide that they can only act jointly so that they both have to agree on a decision or whether they can act jointly and severally where, for example, an urgent decision needs to be made but only one Attorney is immediately contactable.
Once you have made your Lasting Power of Attorney and this has been completed and signed by you and your Attorney and certified that you understand the effect of it and have not been pressurised into making it it will then be registered at the Office of the Public Guardian then a Property and Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney can be used anytime once it has been registered whether you have capacity to act or not.
A Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney can only be used if you lack capacity to make a health decision.