Lasting power of attorney

It is impossible to predict what the future has in store for us; however, we can help ourselves and those closest to us to deal with the results of an illness or accident by appointing a trusted family member or friend to manage our affairs if we become unable to do so.

Before 1st October 2007 it was possible to make an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) and if you have a properly executed EPA made prior to that date it will remain valid.

On 1st October 2007 the Enduring Power of Attorney was replaced by a new Lasting Power of Attorney. The Lasting Power of Attorney, like the EPA, allows you to name one or more attorneys in whom you trust to make decisions on your behalf if you lose the mental capacity to make them for yourself.

The new Lasting Power of Attorney allows you not only to appoint someone to make decisions about how your money is to be spent and the way your property and affairs will be managed, but also to make choices concerning your welfare and healthcare. This includes major decisions such as the consent to or refusal of treatment and deciding where you are to live.

As long as you have the necessary mental capacity it is possible to revoke an existing EPA and replace it with a Lasting Power of Attorney.

If you do not have a Power of Attorney in force, in the event of your mental incapacity an application will be made to the Court of Protection on your behalf for someone to be appointed as your deputy; this process can be time-consuming.