How to use a last­ing power of at­tor­ney?

Man tänker vid dator
31/08/2023 ● 5 minutes
In times when you have to make im­port­ant de­cisions in life, it’s very im­port­ant to have a plan in place. This is where the need to use a last­ing power of at­tor­ney or LPA, comes in.

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:

  1. Prop­erty and Fin­an­cial Af­fairs
  2. 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:

  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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:

  1. Fill out the ne­ces­sary LPA form com­pletely.
  2. Pro­ceed to of­fi­cially re­gister the form with the Office of Public Guard­i­an.
  3. Pa­tiently wait for the ac­tiv­a­tion key. This will be sent to both the donor and the at­tor­ney.
  4. Access the web­site to create a per­son­al ac­count. You can then add the LPA by provid­ing the ref­er­ence number, ac­tiv­a­tion key and date of birth.
  5. 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.