A Property and Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that allows someone (known as a Donor) to choose someone they trust (known as an Attorney) to make decisions on their behalf about their property and affairs.
Using an LPA people can choose someone they trust to make decisions about their property and affairs, on their behalf, at a time in the future when they might not have the capacity to make them for themselves, for example due to the onset of dementia in later life or as a result of a brain injury.
The Donor may appoint an Attorney to manage their property and affairs while they still have capacity to make decisions themselves. For example, it may be easier for them to give someone the power to carry out tasks such as paying their bills or collecting their benefits or other income. This might be easier for lots of reasons i.e. the Donor might find it difficult to get about or to talk on the telephone, or might be out of the country for long periods of time.
Alternatively, the Donor may include a restriction that the LPA can only be used at a time in the future when they lack the capacity to make decisions for themselves - for example, due to the onset of dementia in later life or as a result of a brain injury.
An Attorney will not be able to make decisions about a Donor's personal welfare unless they have also been appointed as a Personal Welfare Attorney using a separate LPA. An LPA can only be used once registered with the OPG.
You can appoint as many Attorneys as you wish, but it is important that you consider how you are appointing them. You will need to specify whether you want to appoint your Attorneys to act:
- Together; or
- Together and independently; or
- Together in some matters and together and independently in others.
A Property and Affairs Attorney, using a registered LPA, will be able to make exactly the same kind of decisions you can make now about your money and property. The person will only be able to make decisions within the scope of the powers you have given them and these decisions might include:
- Buying or selling any property (land, buildings or other assets) you own;
- Opening, closing or operating any bank, building society or other account containing the your funds;
- Claiming, receiving and using all benefits, pensions, and allowances, on your behalf.
This list is only intended to give examples of the types of decisions that can be made on your behalf using a Property and Affairs LPA.
See what the BBC think of LPA's
Dom Littlewood met One Show viewer Heather who had to battle to control the family finances after an accident left her husband in a coma for three years.