Appointing a trusted friend, family member, or professional as your Power of Attorney can provide peace of mind and ensure your best interests are protected. There are several compelling reasons to consider making these arrangements, especially if you anticipate a potential decline in your decision-making capacity due to physical or mental health concerns. By establishing a Power of Attorney, you can rest assured that your affairs will be properly managed even if you become incapacitated.

Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) have replaced the older Enduring Powers of Attorney, offering greater flexibility and control. There are two main types of LPAs:

  • 1. Health & Welfare LPA:

  • A Health & Welfare LPA allows you to designate one or more individuals to make decisions regarding your medical treatment and personal welfare. This LPA comes into effect only if you are unable to make decisions for yourself.

  • 2. Property & Financial Affairs LPA:

  • A Property & Financial Affairs LPA empowers you to select one or more individuals to handle decisions related to your property and financial matters. This may include managing bill payments, selling your home, or other financial transactions. You can appoint an attorney for your property and financial affairs at any time. It is also possible to include a condition specifying that the attorney’s decision-making authority activates only when you are no longer capable of making decisions yourself. LPAs are the most commonly utilized type of Power of Attorney.

By creating a Lasting Power of Attorney, you take a proactive step in safeguarding your future and ensuring that your chosen representative can act in your best interests when you need support. To learn more about the process and benefits of establishing a Power of Attorney, we invite you to explore our comprehensive resources and consult with our knowledgeable team.

Having an Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a safe way of maintaining control over decisions made on your behalf. Here's why:

1. It has to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) before it can be used, which ensures legal validity and provides an added layer of protection.

2.  You choose someone to provide a ‘certificate’, which means they confirm that you understand the significance and purpose of what you’re agreeing to – this further ensures that your intentions and wishes are respected. 

3. You can choose who gets told about your LPA when it is registered. This grants individuals an opportunity to raise concern or provide input, promoting transparency and accountability. 

4.  Your signature and the signatures of your chosen attorneys must be witnessed, ensuring authenticity and integrity of the document. 

5. Your attorney(s) must follow the Code of Practice of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. This legal framework ensures they act solely in your best interesting, offering further safeguards.  

6.  Furthermore, the OPG provides valuable support and guidance throughout the LPA process. They are available to address any concerns or queries you may have, enhancing peace of mind. 

Elderly couple sitting elder client

By incorporating these safeguards and resources, an LPA grants you greater confidence and control over the decision-making process, ensuring that your best interests are upheld. For detailed information and personalized assistance, the team at Nicholls Law is here to provide comprehensive support and guidance.

Apart from Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA), there is another type known as Ordinary Powers of Attorney (OPA). While similar to an LPA, OPAs differ in that they are only valid when the individual has mental capacity. If the individual loses mental capacity, an OPA becomes invalid.

Ordinary Powers of Attorney (OPA) allow for the management of the donor’s affairs under Section 10 of the Power of Attorney Act 1971. OPAs are typically utilized when the donor faces challenges in managing their affairs, such as physical disabilities or during periods of travel abroad.

At Nicholls Law, we also offer Powers of Attorney for Businesses, a service that business owners often overlook. However, it is essential to consider the implication that losing mental capacity for an extended period, such as through hospitalisation, can have on a business. To learn more about Power of Attorney for Businesses and how they can safeguard your business’s interests, please click here.

By offering a comprehensive range of Power of Attorney services, we ensure that individuals and businesses have the necessary legal tools to plan for the future, protect their interests, and make informed decisions even during challenging circumstances. We can help you explore and discover the options available to you.

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