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How to set up an LPA by Paige Hipperson

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

‘A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that appoints one or more trusted persons to be an individual’s attorney.’

If you experience memory loss or have been diagnosed with dementia there may come a point when you are no longer able to make important decisions. Appointing a trusted person as a ‘Power of Attorney’ allows someone else to make these important decisions on your behalf.

In England and Wales, this is called a ‘Lasting Power of Attorney’.

There are two types of LPA’s, these are:

Health and Welfare –  Enables your attorney to make decisions regarding your care needs, this can include medical care, moving into a care home and life-sustaining treatments.

Property and Financial –  enables your attorney to make decisions regarding your assets, this can include dealing with your bank, bills, property and pensions.

Why make an LPA?

Most people with dementia will reach a point where they cannot make decisions about their own finances or care, this is known as a ‘Loss of Mental Capacity’.

It is really important to make an LPA prior to losing mental capacity, as this allows you to state your wishes and  preferences about your future regarding finances and care, whilst you are still are able to. 

The individual who is appointed as your attorney is legally required to respect your wishes as much as possible and make all decisions in your best interest.

Do I need to make my partner an LPA?

Even if you are married or in a civil partnership, this does not automatically entitle your partner to make decisions on your behalf. Organising an LPA ensures that your chosen trusted persons can support and make choices for you when mental capacity is lost.

If an LPA is not appointed before losing capacity, your  loved ones would have to apply to the ‘Court of Protection’ to be appointed as your ‘deputy’. This process can be very expensive and time-consuming. Organising an LPA as soon as possible ensures that when mental capacity is lost, your attorney(s) can start making trusted decisions for you without the need to apply to the Courts.

How to set up an LPA:

To set up a Lasting Power of Attorney, firstly, the attorney(s) need to be chosen! They should be:

· Over the age of 18 years old

· Trusted by the person making the LPA.

· Able to organise and manage their own affairs.

This person could be a partner, other family member, a friend or a professional such as a solicitor.

The donor (you) can choose the same attorney(s) for both Health and Welfare, and Property and Finance LPA’s. You can choose one or more attorneys. If more than one person is chosen, a decision must be made whether the attorneys can make choices separately (known as severally) or together (jointly). The donor can specify what decisions must be made together, and what can be done separately.

You can apply for a LPA online yourself or with help from us, or you can contact a Solicitor or financial planner.

Hopefully, this information has been useful. If you need to know more, please see these handy links for more information on LPA’s:

· Make, Register, or end a Lasting Power of Attorney https://www.gov.uk/power-of-attorney

· Citizens Advice https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk

· Managing legal affairs for someone with dementia – NHS https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/dementia/legal-issues/

or you can call the Dementia Support Hampshire & IOW helpline for guidance on 0344 324 6589 or email support@mydementiasupport.org.

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