A lasting power of attorney is a legal document that allows one person to make decisions on another person’s behalf, if necessary. An LPA would come into action if the person in question lost mental capacity or developed an illness that stopped them from making decisions (e.g., dementia or a brain injury).

Are there different types of power of attorney? 

There are different types of power of attorney, and the suitability of each one depends on the situation a person is in. The different types include:

  • Ordinary power of attorney
  • Lasting power of attorney
  • Enduring power of attorney

You can set up more than one power of attorney to cover all potential outcomes.

Ordinary powers of attorney 

Ordinary powers of attorney allow one or more person (the attorney[s]) to make financial decisions on your behalf.

Reasons for setting up an ordinary power of attorney include:

  • Needing someone to temporarily act for you, such as if you are on holiday or in hospital
  • You struggle to go out to the bank, post office or similar, so you want somebody to access your account on your behalf
  • You supervise someone whilst they make decisions on your behalf.

This type of power of attorney allows you to limit the ability somebody has, to make decisions on your behalf. Therefore, you might decide that they only can make decisions regarding your bank account but not your home.

Ordinary powers of attorney are only valid if you have mental capacity. If you want someone to make decisions on your behalf when you do not have mental capacity, you should consider a lasting power of attorney.

Lasting powers of attorney

There are two types of LPA, one for financial decisions and one for care and health decisions.

LPAs allow your attorney (someone close to you and whom you trust) to make decisions on your behalf if you lose mental capacity or no longer want to make decisions for yourself.

Financial lasting powers of attorney 

Financial LPAs can cover issues such as:

  • Buying/selling property
  • Mortgage payments
  • Investments
  • Bill paying
  • Arranging property repairs

The attorney making your decisions must keep accounts and ensure your money remains separate from theirs.

Health and care decisions LPA 

In this case, an attorney can make decisions about issues including:

  • Where you should live
  • Medical care
  • What you should eat
  • With whom you should be in contact
  • Your social activities
  • In some cases, life-saving treatment

What is an enduring power of attorney? 

An enduring power of attorney covers decisions about both your property and financial affairs if you want someone to act on your behalf. It needs to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian if you lose mental capacity.

LPAs replaced EPAs in 2007. If you made and signed an enduring power of attorney before 1 October 2007, it should still be valid.

Does my spouse have power of attorney? 

You should never assume that your spouse or civil partner will automatically be able to deal with your finances and possessions if you lose the ability to do so yourself. Without an LPA, your partner has no authority.

Lasting Power of Attorney Solicitor 

At Beverley Morris & Co., in Blackheath, our experienced team of solicitors are on hand to support you when you wish to put in place your power of attorney.

Writing and signing a power of attorney can seem daunting, so we are on hand to guide you throughout the process.

To ensure your finances and possessions are dealt with according to your wishes should you lose the ability to make decisions for yourself, please get in touch with Beverley Morris & Co. Solicitors in Blackheath today on 020 8852 4433 or email enquiries@beverleymorris.co.uk.