In cases of dementia, Alzheimer’s and a range of other conditions which have a detrimental or debilitating effect on mental capacity, long term care planning can hinge on having the right legal instruments in place as early as possible. One such legal document is the Lasting Power of Attorney.
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is perhaps the most important legal arrangement, since it can be drawn up while you still have the ability and clarity to make your own decisions. You cannot appoint an attorney under an LPA once you have lost mental capacity.
Long term care planning is therefore important: it will bring reassurance that when the time comes that you cannot make your own decisions, you have already legally appointed someone to act in your best interests and organise your dementia care.
“Eldermera can help you put in place LPAs for clear, advanced care planning so that you can set out your preferences and who you would like to make care decisions for you.”
A Lasting Power of Attorney will ensure that the person you want to represent you and act for you has the legal power to do so. It will also make things much less stressful for your family and those around you: if you do not have an LPA, it can be a complicated and protracted process to sort out your affairs, and decisions about your care may be taken by someone you do not know. Making an LPA now means that your family can know as accurately as possible what your long term care wishes are and how your financial affairs are to be managed.
So when you no longer have appropriate mental capacity, your Lasting Power of Attorney document becomes valid following registration with the Office of the Public Guardian, and the person you have appointed becomes your attorney. The LPA allows them to take decisions about your ongoing care, ensure that your needs are met and manage your financial resources.
LPAs fall into two separate categories, one which allows your appointed attorney to make decisions about your health and welfare, and another which takes care of your finances and property assets.
Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare
The Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare will include decision making provisions about where you will live and where and how your care will be delivered.
It may even include finer details like your diet or daily routines like dressing and bathing.
Importantly, your attorney can also be granted the power to accept or refuse life-sustaining treatment for you, though you will need to specify this when the LPA is drawn up. You must also specify whether any future decisions by your attorney will override any previous advance decisions you may have made.
An LPA for Health and Welfare is not valid while you still possess the mental capability to decide on your care and medical treatment.
Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Affairs
The Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Affairs looks more specifically at property assets and financial planning arrangements. It can be linked to care provision but does not have the scope for decisions on medical treatment and the specifics of long term care.
Provisions will typically include measures for monitoring the collection of any due income, paying household and utility bills and other outgoings, or selling your property. There is also flexibility to limit decision-making powers and put certain terms and conditions in place.
Your appointed attorney can use a registered LPA for Property and Affairs even when you are still capable of making financial decisions, and it also protects you for when the time comes that you are no longer able to do so. At that point, your attorney will manage all of your financial and property arrangements on your behalf.
Why not schedule a free consultation today?
Eldermera’s legal services for the elderly can help you put a Lasting Power of Attorney in place.
Call us on 0330 022 5778 or 0207 030 4923 to discuss your circumstances.