It is important that we consider putting our affairs in order, especially as we get older and ought to put our affairs in order before we lose our mental capacity to make decisions.
In law this is a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). This is where we appoint someone we trust to make decisions whether in relation to our health and welfare, or financial decisions when we no longer can. In legal terms, an authorised person is the “Attorney” and the person who appoints the Attorney is the “Donor”.
Anyone 18 years or older who has the appropriate capacity to make decisions can be an Attorney. There are two types of LPA, one which covers Health and Welfare and one which covers Property and Financial affairs. It is also advisable to ensure that we have a replacement attorney if our attorney becomes incapable themselves.
It is important that we chose someone who we can trust to handle our affairs if this time comes. Many people neglect to make a lasting power of attorney and if they are eventually unable to make decisions, their loved ones have to go through the process of applying to the court of protection in order to manage their affairs. This can be a stressful time and a LPA will avoid this.
The law requires for an LPA to be valid it has to signed and witnessed by all people mentioned on the LPA and registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.