There are different Lasting Power of Attorney forms for different types of decisions. You can download the right forms online. You may need more than one type.
With Lasting Power of Attorney, someone can make important decisions on behalf of somebody else. This usually happens if someone’s mental ability to make decisions is somehow limited.
Lasting Power of Attorney is often shortened to LPA, and can be set up in case you can’t, or don’t want to, make financial or medical decisions.
Read on to learn more about filling in Lasting Power of Attorney forms.
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The decision surrounding Lasting Power of Attorney is not one that should be taken lightly. By filing in these forms, you’re giving someone the power to make important decisions. The person being given Lasting Power of Attorney should represent your interests fairly and respectably, as an advocate on your behalf.
Giving someone Lasting Power of Attorney means that they’ll make decisions on your behalf, typically relating to medical care or financial management. You can choose to give this power if you want to be free from those decisions, though in most cases Lasting Power of Attorney is used because it’s needed, not just wanted.
Usually, Lasting Power of Attorney is used to protect someone’s interests, when they don’t have the mental ability to make these decisions on their own.
You can set up Lasting Power of Attorney in advance. Then, you know that you’re protected if something later affects your ability to make your own decisions.
Lasting Power of Attorney forms are used to set up your LPA. You can fill these in whilst you’re of sound mind, able to make your own decisions. They’ll come into play if something later happens to influence your mental ability.
You can also set up Lasting Power of Attorney to give someone control of your property or financial decisions straight away. This is an option if you don’t want to make decisions and think someone else could be a better advocate. Medical decisions don’t work the same way, and this type of power will only be provided if you’ve lost mental capacity.
There are separate Lasting Power of Attorney forms for financial/property and medical/care decisions, so you’ll need to decide if you want to submit both or instead hand over just one decision type.
When you’re filling in Lasting Power of Attorney forms, you need to choose whose name(s) to put down. This is a huge decision, because you’re giving someone a lot of very influential power. The person/people you choose can make important decisions on your behalf, so you must be sure that they’ll have your best interests at heart.
Many people choose a spouse to have Lasting Power of Attorney. Another relative, family member or friend might also take on this role. You should give the task to someone you trust to act in your best interests when you can’t.
Don’t necessarily choose the person that you’re closest to, but someone that you know can handle the role and is most likely to act in your best interests.
Anyone can fill in Lasting Power of Attorney forms, though for many people this isn’t even something that’s considered.
It’s a sad reality that, at any moment, you could be involved in a life-changing accident that leads to permanent brain damage. Nobody wants to think about these things, but the most prepared might specify who should get Lasting Power of Attorney just in case.
Most people that fill in these forms know that they’re going to be needed. They’re usually for people with conditions like dementia, who may be aware that their mental capacity won’t let them stay in control forever.
If you fill in Lasting Power of Attorney forms for financial decisions, you give someone else the power to look after your bills and any property you own. Essentially, they’re in charge of your estate and your day-to-day living costs.
Lasting Power of Attorney for medical care needs gives the power to decide where you live, as well as control of your medical care and the type of lifestyle you’ll have. Someone with this power can decide how your days are spent, who you’ll see and what you eat. It’s a big responsibility.
Lasting Power of Attorney should only be given to someone that you completely trust. You can, however, make smaller decisions about the types of powers you’re happy to hand over.
Your chosen attorney(s) cannot make every decision on your behalf. Even with Lasting Power of Attorney, they must still only make the decisions you’re incapable of.
It’s an attorney’s responsibility to always do their best to let you keep making decisions. You can make decisions by speaking, but may also be able to express your wishes through other actions like gestures, hand squeezing or subtle eye movements. Your attorney is only acting in your best interests if they exhaust every option before taking over.
Your attorney must also allow you, where you can, to make bad or unwise decisions. Having Lasting Power of Attorney does not give someone the option to overrule the decisions you can make.
If you’ve decided to arrange Lasting Power of Attorney, you can fill in the relevant forms. Download and print the forms you need, or find LPA forms online.
To protect your interests and make sure you’re not pressured, you must provide the name of a Certificate Provider that has known you for at least two years and has a professional qualification (like a doctor or lawyer). They’re responsible for confirming that you know what you’re doing and that you’re acting on your own. You will also need witnesses, and can add people to notify. People that are notified hear about your Lasting Power of Attorney, and have time to express their concerns if they believe that something isn’t right.
As well as selecting your attorneys, you may wish to add some replacement attorneys who can be used as back-ups if required. They may take the role if your original attorneys can’t, or don’t want to, be responsible.
When you’re filling in the forms, make sure that your chosen attorneys know what they’re agreeing to. This is a big responsibility, potentially lasting many years, and not a task to be taken lightly.
If you choose more than one attorney, you can state on the form whether they can make separate decisions, or whether they must get together and agree on every decision. If you choose that decisions can only be made jointly, your LPA will no longer apply if one of your attorneys can’t (or won’t) continue with their role.
Lasting Power of Attorney forms are detailed enough that most people can fill them in alone. Any potentially confusions points come with some extra explanations.
If you need help with LPA forms, it’s a good idea to contact a solicitor. If you make mistakes, these will need to be corrected before your forms can be accepted. Help from a solicitor is a good idea if you think you’ll be confused about the meaning of any of the questions, or if you’d like help deciding who to choose to get Lasting Power of Attorney.
Here at Money Savings Advice, we have partnered with one of the UK’s leading LPA & Will-writing companies, and they are members of The Society of Will Writers, and they have already helped thousands of our readers get the right Will & LPA in place.
Choosing an independent adviser means they won’t recommend a scheme unless they are sure it is in your best interests. Their advice is also regulated by the FCA, which gives you an additional layer of protection.
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