What is lasting power of attorney?
For a person with a diagnosis of dementia, there may come a time when they are unable to make decisions about their care and their finances. A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a legal document appointing one, or more, trusted people to be their attorney(s). An attorney is a person responsible for making decisions on their behalf.
There are two types of LPA. It is possible to draw up one, or both. The same attorney(s) can be appointed for both, or someone different can be appointed for each. They are:
Health and welfare, which appoints an attorney to make decisions regarding medical care, future care needs such as moving into a care home, and life-sustaining treatment. It can only be used once the person can no longer make their own decisions.
Property and financial affairs, which appoints an attorney to make decisions regarding managing a bank or building society account, paying bills, collecting benefits or a pension, or buying and selling a house. This can be used immediately if the person making it gives their permission.
An LPA is only valid in England and Wales. People in Northern Ireland can contact the Office of Care and Protection for advice on 028 9072 5953 (or visit www.nidirect.gov.uk/articles/managing-your-affairs-and-enduring-power-attorney).
People in Scotland can contact the Office of the Public Guardian (Scotland) on 01324 678398 (website: www.publicguardian-scotland.gov.uk).
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