What is a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)?
An LPA is a legal document appointing a person of your choice to make decisions on your behalf. It allows you to plan ahead and ensure that someone you trust is legally able to act and make decisions on your behalf if, in the future, you’re not able to do those things for yourself.
The different types of LPA
There are two types of LPA: one covers money and property, and is called the Property and Finance Affairs LPA. The other one covers your personal and health care - the Health and Welfare LPA.
Age UK’s factsheet 22 ‘Arranging for someone to make decisions on your behalf’ gives much more detail about why LPAs are important and how they work.
What are the risks of not having an LPA?
If you were to lose mental capacity without an LPA in place, your family must apply to the Court of Protection to have a deputy appointed to deal with everyday financial matters. This is a slow and very expensive process, costing thousands of pounds. If you have to use a lawyer it could cost a lot more. But if you already have an LPA in place, this will not be necessary.