All Your Power of Attorney Questions Answered.
What is a lasting power of attorney?
In England & Wales there are two different types of Lasting Power of Attorney:
· Health and Care Decisions Lasting Power of Attorney
· Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney
You can have one, or both types of power. They allow the person or people you nominate to make financial and healthcare decisions on your behalf. In relation to financial affairs, this can be from registration, or only after you lose the ability to do it yourself. Health and Care powers can only be used if you lose the ability to make those decisions yourself.
Specifically what does a Health & Care Decisions Power of Attorney cover?
A Health and Care LPA can use used to make decisions about a donor’s personal welfare and can include decisions on:
- Medical Matters, such as consent or refusal of medical treatment
- Where you like and who you live with
- Who you may have contact with
- Day to day care, what to eat and what to wear
- Assessment and provision of care service provided to you
- Accessing personal information, for example medical records should a claim need to be made for an injury sustained
- Complaints about treatment or care
You can also give your chosen attorney(s) the power to decide whether to allow or refuse life saving medical treatment.
These types of powers can only be used if you lose 'capacity'. This would often be the result of certain illnesses, including dementia and Alzheimer’s.
Specifically what does a Property & Financial Affairs Power of Attorney cover?
A Property and Financial Decisions LPA can be use to make decisions in relation to property and finances, this can include decisions on:
- Buying or selling property
- Dealing with bank accounts
- Arranging insurance
- Claiming benefits and pensions and sorting out tax affairs
- Making gifts, albeit in very limited circumstances
- Repaying interest on a loan
- Paying bills such as mortgage, rent and household utilities
- Receiving income or inheritance
Unlike Health powers, you can implement this whenever you like: from immediately, to only when you have lost 'capacity'.
In this power of attorney, you can allow wide ranging powers for your attorney, or very limited powers. This may be relevant for example if you live abroad, but have assets in the UK that you need someone to deal with here.