There may come a time when you no longer wish, or are no longer able, to act for yourself. A registered Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows your attorney to act on your behalf and make decisions for you.
The inability to act for yourself may not necessarily be due to dementia but could perhaps be the result of a stroke or accident.
You must choose your attorney carefully because they will be making the important decisions about your welfare or financial affairs that you would normally have made yourself. You can appoint more than one person and, if you wish to, you can limit the extent of their power by placing restrictions and conditions when the Lasting Power of Attorney is prepared. When a Lasting Power of Attorney application is prepared you are asked if you wish anyone to be notified before it is registered. This gives people who know you well an opportunity to raise any concerns or objections. If possible you should nominate one or more people to be notified.
You are not required to register a Lasting Power of Attorney immediately but it cannot be used until it is registered and it can take between ten and twelve weeks for the application to be finalised.
What is a Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney?
This can only be used when it has been registered and the donor has lost mental capacity. Your attorney will make decisions about such things as where you live and your day-to-day and long- term are. When your Lasting Power of Attorney is prepared, you must decide whether to give your attorney the authority to accept or refuse life sustaining treatment on your behalf.
What is a Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney?
This could include buying and selling property, operating bank accounts, making investments and paying bills. Unlike the Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney, this can be used before the donor loses mental capacity as long as it has been registered. We would recommend that your Lasting Power of Attorney is safely stored with your Will until it is required.
Can someone with dementia make a Lasting Power of Attorney?
The simple answer is no because the donor must have mental capacity to make a Lasting Power of Attorney. However, you can apply to the Court of Protection to be a Deputy which is a costly and extremely lengthy process. For that reason it is advisable to have a Lasting Power of Attorney registered and in place whilst the donor still has the mental capacity to do so.
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