A Lasting Power of Attorney enables you as a ‘Donor’ to pass your estate to someone who can manage this for you – the ‘Attorney’ – should you lose mental capacity to make important decisions. Although losing capacity is most commonly considered in relation to dementia, anyone can lose mental capacity at any time – for example, if they suffer a heart attack, stroke, or if they are in an accident. We strongly advise organising Lasting Powers of Attorney no matter how old you are – don’t run the risk of it being too late.
There are two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney:
- Health & Welfare – this enables your Attorney(s) to make important decisions about your health, care and welfare – for example, choosing care homes. Without this Lasting Power of Attorney in place, social services would take control of your care.
- Property & Financial Affairs – this allows your Attorney(s) to pay your bills, manage your money, and deal with any investments. Unlike the above, the Donor does not have to lack mental capacity before it can be used. Therefore, it is sensible to take steps to prevent its misuse. Without this Lasting Power of Attorney in place, your family may have to deal with frozen bank accounts and costly court fees.