First and foremost, what is a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)? There are two types, the first being for Property and Financial Decisions and the other being for Health and Welfare Decisions. If an individual loses the capacity to make decisions relating to their finances, property or welfare, an individual is appointed to make these decisions on their behalf, otherwise known as their Attorney. There can be one or more attorneys.

It is important to understand that an LPA will only come into effect if the individual has lost the mental capacity to make decisions on their own. This involves:

  1. Unable to understand the information presented to them or the consequences;
  2. Unable to remember information long enough to make a decision on a certain topic;
  3. Incapable of making a choice; and
  4. Communication is limited.

It is not permitted to decide that a person lacks mental capacity because they appear to make a bad decision, the individual should be assessed by a doctor or another medical professional to assess the capacity that they hold if there is any doubt. The Mental Capacity Code of Practice provides a useful guide.

An attorney will be the decision maker as regards both types of LPA although a person may choose to have separate attorneys for each sector.

The decisions enabled by the Health and Welfare LPA include the following:

  1. Daily routines
  2. Routine medical care
  3. Moving into a care home
  4. Lifesaving or life-sustaining treatment

Whereas the Property and Financial Decisions LPA enable the following types of decision:

  1. Paying bills
  2. Claiming and collecting benefits
  3. Selling property
  4. Spending money

Of course, it can be difficult to think ahead of time and as an attorney for an individual, you may need to make a decision that will affect the persons future. It is important to find out what matters to that person most.

If you are looking to become an attorney for someone, or require advice regarding your current position as an attorney, you can contact our team on 0151 638 4805 or alternatively contact Marc, one of our legal professionals: