Lasting Power of Attorney
Lasting power of Attorney (LPA) came into force on 1st October 2018. This is a legal right given to someone trusted that continues until it is stopped and can last until the person who has given it has died. The person who gives it (donor) may not want to or be in a position to manage their own affairs due to ill health. In order to make a valid LPA, the donor must be over 18 years of age and have capacity to make the decision to appoint an attorney. An attorney will have the power to make decisions on behalf of the donor’s best interests. There are two types of LPAs –
Health and Welfare
This type of LPA covers your personal and health care. Your attorney can only use the LPA on your behalf when you lack capacity to make the decision yourself.
The LPA should include the types of decisions you want the attorney to make. This might be all decisions, single decisions such as moving into a care home or getting help from social services or it could be for a few specific decisions of your choosing.
You can give your attorneys the power to refuse or agree to any medical treatment you may need to stay alive. This will only take effect if you are unable to make that decision at the time it needs to be made. If you do not give your attorney that power, doctors would decide on the treatment that is in your best interests.
There’s another document called an Advance Decision to Refuse Treatment (ADRT) which can also affect your treatment.
Some people make one type of LPA while others make both. If you wish to make an LPA for each type you’ll need to fill in one form for each type.
Property and Affairs
This type of LPA covers your money and property. You don’t have to own your own home or have a lot of money to make this type of LPA. This LPA works in one of two ways –
- your attorney can use the LPA on your behalf immediately, with your consent, as soon as it’s registered. For example if you’d like help with managing your bank accounts or with paying bills
- you can instruct that the attorney can only use the LPA when you don’t have capacity to make that decision.
The ability to use and understand information to make a decision and communicate any decision made. A person lacks capacity if their mind is impaired or disturbed in some way and they are unable to make a decision at that time.
This is the person who you choose to act for you.
Why do you need a Lasting Power of Attorney?
If you are going to be off-island or in hospital and have things that need to be seen to, you could give an LPA to a trusted, sensible friend or relative to act on your behalf.
How to execute (put in place) a Lasting Power of Attorney
You must complete the online application form here. Once you have completed the online form, you will need to print it and sign it in the presence of a witness.
A list of questions to help you gather the information needed for the online form is available here.
The cost is £25.00 or reduced to £15.00 if you are in receipt of Income Support, Long Term Incapacity Allowance or Long Term Care.
You can also make changes to an existing Lasting Power of Attorney on the link above.
Who can’t be a donor of a Lasting Power of Attorney?
Anyone who is not of sound mind or who is certified mentally incapable may not give a Lasting Power of Attorney. In this situation, they could have a delegate (previously known as a curator).
Who may be the Attorney?
Any adult over 18 who is of sound mind.