Who will manage your healthcare and financial affairs if you cannot?
With a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), you can make the choice about what should happen in the future if you are not able to look after your own affairs due to mental or physical incapacity.
This is a legal document which is registered with The Office of the Public Guardian.
There are two types of LPA; one deals with Financial Decisions the other with Health and Care decisions. As a Carer you may wish to have an LPA for yourself and/or the person you care for.
You can complete the forms for registration on line directly at www.gov.uk/opg.
However, we know that the process of registration can seem overwhelming so we have developed a support service to help you if you need it.
For more information about our LPA services please contact us
An LPA can only be granted whilst you have the mental capacity to agree to it. Once you lose capacity, your loved ones will be forced to go to the Court of Protection like Henry.
Henry (not his real name), was unaware of the Lasting Power of Attorney process, so did not apply for one when his wife first began to show signs of dementia. As his wife’s condition deteriorated, Henry needed to take on more and more responsibility for her financial affairs. Henry and his wife did have a joint bank account, but his wife also had a number of investments in her own name. Sadly, Henry’s wife lost the mental capacity to consent to Henry taking on responsibility for dealing with her financial affairs, and this meant it was too late to apply for a Lasting Power of Attorney.
Henry was left with just one option, to begin the long, arduous and costly process of applying to the Court of Protection. The Court of Protection is a specialist legal service provided by the government that makes decisions regarding the property, financial affairs, health and well-being of a person who is considered unable to make those decisions themselves.
Once Henry began the process, he was required to provide detailed information about himself and other family members, something he found be very intrusive. The process took around six months to complete, during which time he was unable to access his wife’s investments to help pay for her care.
When the court order was in place, he was required to provide detailed statements of the accounts each year to show how he had spent any money. This cost him around £200 to submit the account. Any additional expenses over and above what had been agreed for the monthly expenditure for his wife’s care required an additional application process. For Henry, this meant there was a long wait before he could access the funds to install a staitlift when his wife needed it.
Henry's experiences with the Court of Protection have led him to grant his children a Lasting Power of Attorney for himself, should a similar situation arise. He did not want his children to go through the same difficult and costly procedure that he himself endured. When asked if with hindsight whether he would have got an LPA in place for his wife when they were still able to do so, he simply stated “definitely.”