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An Introduction to the Lasting Power of Attorney

In recent years a lasting power of attorney (LPA) has become an issue for many families.

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With people living longer and losing their ability to make their own decisions due to a lack of mental capacity, LPAs have become an option which many people are taking up.

They give the individual more control over what happens if they become ill or have an accident which means their ability to make their own decisions is impaired. As a donor you may appoint an attorney or attorneys to make decisions for you.

Legal Advice

You must be over 18 years of age and a British citizen or live in the UK to make an LPA, which can either relate to health and welfare or involve property and financial matters.

It is important to take legal advice on such a vital matter which will not only affect yourself but also your family. In legal centres such as Gloucester solicitors will be able to offer advice on this kind of legal instrument and can be found online at sites such as www.deeandgriffin.co.uk/.

If you are concerned about your future health needs, an LPA can help you appoint a trusted person or more than one to make important decisions about your care needs if you are unable to make decisions for yourself.

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An LPA relating to property and financial matters will mean that you will avoid the court appointing someone to make those decisions for you. Often you will want to choose someone who understands your needs and requirements.

Too Late

Often individuals and families leave it too late to initiate an LPA, since it must be made whilst you are able to understand the documents and what you are signing. They should be executed well before they are likely to be needed. If the courts become involved, this may result in an outcome that is not what you would have anticipated.

In many ways they are like an insurance policy. It is possible they may never be needed. Consequently, the sooner you address this issue the better the outcome is likely to be. An LPA cannot be created if you do not have the mental capacity to understand the documentation and the impact it will have on your affairs and care.

If those circumstances arise, the Court of Protection may be called upon.

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