What are Lasting Powers of Attorney and why do we need them?
There are two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney; Property & Financial | Health & Welfare
Both documents are equally as important as the other. They allow your Attorneys to make decisions for you on your behalf when you are no longer able to do so yourself. For example; in the event of you unfortunately losing your mental capacity to an age related illness such as dementia, or if you suffer a stroke or become unconscious, your Attorneys can step into your shoes and make decisions for you on your behalf and in your best interests.
Property & Financial
An LPA for Property & Financial affairs allows you to plan ahead by choosing one or more persons (typically family members such as a spouse, partner and/or your adult children) that you trust to step into your shoes and make decisions in your best interests should you become unable to deal with your own property & financial affairs at some point in the future. These people are known as your Attorneys. They can act jointly or on their own should the need arise.
If you like, your Attorney/Attorneys can manage your financial affairs for you even whilst you have your full capacity and with your permission; e.g. you may be in perfect mental health but your mobility may now be an issue and you cannot get out and about like you used to be able to, or you may be housebound. Your Attorneys can legally carry out tasks such as;
Paying your bills
Collecting any benefits, pensions or any other income
Going to the bank on your behalf
Health & Welfare
An LPA for Health & Welfare again allows you to plan ahead by choosing one or more persons (typically family members such as a spouse, partner and/or your adult children) that you trust to step into your shoes and make decisions for you in your best interests with regards to your health & welfare including;
Personal matters such as your diet, the clothes you wear, your religious beliefs,
Helping you to arrange doctors or hospital appointments especially if you are housebound,
Your general wellbeing should you become unable to deal with your own decisions about your own personal Health & Welfare.
Again, these people are known as your Attorneys, they can act jointly or on their own should the need arise.
An important part of the Health & Welfare LPA is you can give the power to your Attorneys to give or refuse life sustaining treatment on your behalf, as well as other significant decisions such as certain kinds of medical healthcare and treatments.
Unlike the Property & Financial Affairs LPA, a Health & Welfare LPA can only be used when you lose your mental capacity and lack the ability to make these decisions for yourself due to an age related illness such as dementia, or if you are unconscious.
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