Home In focus What you need to know about a Lasting Power of Attorney
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What you need to know about a Lasting Power of Attorney

by Cathy Sheel

Did you know… if your partner or close family member had to pay your bills or make a choice about your care if you weren’t able to, they would need legal authority to do so.

The ‘Your Voice, Your Decision’ campaign is aiming to raise awareness of the Lasting Power of Attorney – a legal document which lets people you trust to quickly, easily, and legally step in when you need it most.

It means you keep control of certain decisions by choosing who you want to make them if you lose metal capacity. This could be temporary to help manage finances during a short hospital stay, or for longer-term decisions about your health and care.

How it works

There are two different types of Lasting Power of Attorney, also known as LPAs. One covers property and finance, such as paying bills or managing bank accounts. The other covers health and care, such as medical treatment or living conditions.

When you make a lasting power of attorney you, known as the “donor”, name people you trust, known as “attorneys”. Attorneys make decisions on your behalf if you don’t have mental capacity.

The Office of the Public Guardian is responsible for registering lasting powers of attorney. Once in place the people you trust can quickly, easily, and legally step in.

What you need to know

  • Close family or friends would not be able to make decisions on your behalf if you lose mental capacity without an LPA
  • Registering a lasting power of attorney is probably easier and cheaper than you think. Depending on your circumstances, it can be free.
  • Making a lasting power of attorney helps plan for your future on your own terms

Cllr Del Arnall, Knowsley’s Cabinet Member for Adult Social Care said: “A power of attorney is a legal document that allows someone to make decisions for you, or act on your behalf, if you’re no longer able to, or if you no longer want to make your own decisions. It’s important people know about them and then can decide whether they will be part of their plans for the future.”

Learn more about lasting powers of attorney: https://powerofattorney.campaign.gov.uk