The structure of our society is changing very quickly, with an increasingly elderly population who are living longer than ever before. So it makes sense for everyone to plan for their future with a Lasting Power of Attorney. Joanna Carpenter, Deputy Head of Wills, Trust and Probate at Tallents in Newark explains the different options.
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) will allow you to appoint someone you trust to make key decisions by way of a Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney and a Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney. You can decide to make either, or both LPAs, to give you peace of mind.
So what are the key differences between the two LPAs?
Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney
You choose one person, or more, to make welfare and medical treatment decisions on your behalf about things like:
- Routine day-to-day tasks (e.g. what to wear and eat)
- Medical care and life-sustaining treatment
- Moving into a care home
This LPA can only be used when someone loses the mental capacity, or ability to make or communicate his or her own decisions any more.
Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney
This replaced Enduring Power of Attorneys (EPAs) from October 2007. An existing EPA is still valid, but you cannot make a new one; instead you must now make a Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney.
You choose one person or more to make decisions for you about property or money:
- Paying bills
- Collecting your benefits
- Selling or letting your home
- Looking after your investments
This LPA can be used while you are still able to make your own decisions but can also be used should you lose your mental capacity.
You don’t have to be in your later life to make a LPA. It is sensible for anyone with commitments: husbands and wives, children, dependent relatives, or a business, to consider making at least one type of Power of Attorney.
Your solicitor will guide you through the process ensuring your understanding at every point and that the LPA is completed with your best interests at heart.