Lasting power of attorney (also known as LPA) allows you to appoint someone you trust to make necessary decisions on your behalf. This is usually the case when a person is unable to do them by themselves due to illness, accident or dementia.
In this post, we’ll uncover the purpose of LPA, when it is necessary, to whom the document is for and how to use LPA in practice.
Defining LPA and Its Purpose
Before we dive into the world of legalities, let’s understand first what LPA is all about, especially in UK.
LPA or Lasting Power Of Attorney is a legal document that allows an individual in the UK to appoint someone they trust to make decisions if they are unable to do so. We call those individuals donors and the person they trust attorneys.
This can happen under circumstances where a person cannot do the decision-making due to physical or mental inability. The process guarantees that the client’s business or affairs are handled properly with the best interest in mind.
In the UK, there are two main types of LPA:
- Property and Financial Affairs
- Health and Welfare LPA
As the name suggests, Property and Financial Affairs refers to handling the donors’ financial matters. The responsibilities may include paying bills, selling, investing, and many more on their behalf.
Meanwhile, Health and Welfare LPA covers making decisions about the donor’s health and welfare. This can include medical treatments, living arrangements and other personal matters. Let’s dig deeper into this type of LPA as we move forward to discuss more of it below.
When is a lasting power of attorney needed?
Using a lasting power of attorney should come easy once the need arises.
Typically, LPA applies during the following situations:
- Planning For The Future. Any individual, as long as the person meets the criteria for drafting, can choose to create an LPA to plan ahead for the future.
- Dementia or Cognitive impairment. If a person was diagnosed with dementia or other condition that may affect their mental capacity, creating an LPA is necessary.
- Accidents or Serious illnesses. Any of the two can lead to temporary or permanent incapacity. Hence, an LPA can help avoid legal and financial complications.
- Old Age. It can be challenging to manage affairs independently as people age. So, creating an LPA ensures that attorneys carry out their wishes.
How To Activate Power Of Attorney For Health and Welfare?
To activate the lasting power of attorney for health and welfare, follow the steps below:
- Fill out the necessary LPA form completely.
- Proceed to officially register the form with the Office of Public Guardian.
- Patiently wait for the activation key. This will be sent to both the donor and the attorney.
- Access the website www.gov.uk/use-lpa to create a personal account. You can then add the LPA by providing the reference number, activation key and date of birth.
- Once the LPA has been added successfully, users will have the option to share the details with third-party organizations by generating an access code.
Proving You Have An LPA
After successful registration to the Office of Public Guardian (OPG), your attorneys now gain the authority to make decisions on your behalf. Now, you may be wondering, how do I prove I have power of attorney in the UK?
Once registration is complete, LPA will bear a perforated stamp on the bottom of the front page. This indicates that it is valid and also shows the registration date. You can also prove that the copy of the LPA is genuine by obtaining a certified version if you are still able to make decisions on your own. The copy can be used if necessary if you do not have the original document at the time being.
Create a lasting power of attorney sooner rather than later
Overall, having a lasting power of attorney in the UK is a smart move for planning your future. This also protects your loved ones' interests. Just keep in mind that, LPAs must be taken care of while the donor is still able to do so. This ensures that their affairs are in safe hands, especially during challenging times.
So, take time to prepare ahead if you think it's about time to do it. Take advantage of the peace of mind LPAs can provide to you and your loved ones.