If you are unable to make decisions for yourself (known as loss of mental capacity) your partner, spouse or civil partner or another family member will not be able to take over dealing with your financial affairs, nor make arrangements for your care and personal needs unless you have a registered Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) in place.
In these circumstances someone will need to apply to the Court of Protection to be appointed as a Deputy to make decisions on your behalf. This is a lengthy and often expensive process. Typically, many weeks will elapse before your Deputy is appointed and has the authority to make decisions on your behalf.
If you have an up to date LPA in place and it is already registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) your chosen Attorney can make decisions on your behalf immediately.
There are 2 types of LPA:
A Financial Affairs LPA
…can cover things such as:
- buying, selling, or renting property
- paying the mortgage, arranging repairs to property
- investing money
- paying bills
Once registered, a Financial Affairs LPA may be used immediately (with your authority), allowing you to delegate certain decisions to your Attorney if you would rather, he or she dealt with it on your behalf.
A Health and Welfare LPA
… can only be used once you have lost mental capacity.
A Health and Welfare Attorney can make decisions about things such as:
- where you should live
- your medical care
- what you should eat
- decisions on end of life care
Creating and registering an LPA
It is important to note that you can only set up an LPA while you have capacity.
The OPG currently take about 3 months to register an LPA, so it makes sense to get your LPAs drafted and registered at the earliest opportunity.
We can help
Relay can draft LPAs and guide you through the options that can be included within them. We can also assist with registering your LPAs with the OPG.