While we all hope that we will end our days in full possession of our mental faculties, the reality is that we can lose our ability to make informed decisions through accident, injury or illness. A sobering number of people is affected by head injuries or mental illnesses every year. The statistics for traumatic brain injury (caused by falls, sporting incidents or road traffic accidents), acquired brain injury (from strokes, heart attacks, brain tumours and brain haemorrhages) and dementia, reinforce the importance of appointing someone to take responsibility for your affairs should you be affected.
Making a Lasting Power of Attorney under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA 2005) enables you to appoint someone who can manage your legal, financial and health affairs should you lose the ability to do so yourself, whether temporarily or permanently.
Anyone aged 18 or over with the capacity to do so can make an LPA appointing one or more trusted individuals, known as “Attorneys”, to make decisions on their behalf.
An LPA is a powerful document, and an effective insurance policy against your losing mental capacity and the subsequent consequences for your family and finances.
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney; a Lasting Power of Attorney for property and financial affairs (“LPAPFA”) for financial decisions and a Lasting Power of Attorney for health and welfare (“LPAHW”) for health and care decisions.