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Lasting Powers of Attorney and Deputyships - What you need to know


A Lasting power of attorney allows an individual to appoint other people to make decisions on their behalf in respect of their property and finances and health and welfare. There are two types; property and finances and health and welfare. 

 

Why have an LPA?

o   There is a common misconception that a ‘next of kin’ is able to act and take decisions on behalf of an individual, particularly with regard to medical decisions. This is incorrect and, in law, a next of kin has no legal standing. 

o   If you lose mental capacity and do not have lasting powers of attorney in place, a costlier ‘deputyship’ application to the Court of Protection would be necessary before any decisions could be made. 

o   An LPA allows the donor to freely choose their attorneys, rather than the Court of Protection

o   Physical and mental impairment can occur at any age and therefore it is prudent to plan ahead and minimise any potential burden to your loved ones

 

A deputyship will be required if it is too late to complete a lasting power of attorney because the individual concerned has already lost mental capacity and is therefore unable to deal with their own affairs. This application will be made to the Court of Protection on behalf on an individual who lacks mental capacity and who is unable to deal with their own affairs.

 

Key points:

o   An individual can apply to be a deputy for just property and financial affairs or just health and welfare, or indeed both.

O   A deputy is required to send annual reports to the Office of the Public Guardian setting out and explaining the decisions they have made on behalf of the person who lacks capacity

o   When making a decision on behalf of the individual, a deputy should attempt to discuss the decision with the individual, consider whether the action is in their best interests and in line with their past actions and decisions.

o   Deputies are supervised by the Office of the Public Guardian. The office of the public guardian are authorised to contact or visit the deputy to ensure that they are being an effective deputy and acting accordingly.

 

Please contact our private client department for more information.

 

 

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