The Two Varieties Of Lasting Power Of Attorney
A Lasting Power of Attorney enables the person concerned (the donor) to give someone else (the attorney) the legal right to deal with their affairs. The attorney will, in most cases, be a family member or close friend.
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney available:
A Property and Affairs Power of Attorney, which gives the attorney the authority to deal with the donor’s finances and property.
A Personal Welfare Power of Attorney, which allows the attorney to make decisions relating to the donor’s healthcare and welfare.
Choose someone to manage your financial and property affairs,
and make decisions concerning health and welfare
Property And Affairs
A Property and Affairs Power of Attorney can be set up to come into force as soon as it is registered, or the donor can restrict it so it can only be used if they lack the mental capacity to make decisions for themselves.
It gives the attorney the authority to deal with the following areas:
- Dealing with banks and other financial accounts, including opening and closing
- Claiming, receiving and using all benefits (on the donor’s behalf)
- Dealing with the donor’s taxes
- Buying and selling property
- Receiving income or inheritance for the donor
- Making limited gifts (birthdays etc) on the donor’s behalf
An attorney is legally obliged to act in the donor’s interests at all times, and various safeguards exist to ensure this.
With an ever increasing elderly population, people are much more aware of the degenerative effects of Alzheimer’s, dementia, strokes and other conditions which can cause a loss of mental capacity. The new personal welfare Lasting Power of Attorney provides them with the opportunity to have some say in their future care, and to state the type of medical care they would or would not want.
A personal welfare Lasting Power of Attorney can only be used once it has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian, and importantly, only after the donor has lost mental capacity.
It offers broad scope for making decisions in a number of areas. These include:
- Where the donor should live, and who they should live with
- The donor’s day to day care, including diet and dress
- Consenting to or refusing medical examination and treatment on the donor’s behalf
- Who the donor may have contact with
- Rights of access to personal information about the donor
- Assessments for and provisions of community care services
- Whether the donor should take part in social activities, leisure activities, education or training
- The donor’s personal correspondence and papers
- Complaints about the donor’s care or treatment