The Benefits of a Lasting Power of Attorney

The Benefits of a Lasting Power of Attorney

Planning for the future is vital, especially when facing life’s unexpected challenges. For people dealing with cognitive disorders like dementia, having a plan in place is even more crucial.

As there may come a time when you can no longer make or communicate decisions, a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a way of securing your peace of mind.

A power of attorney is a legal document that appoints someone you trust, known as an attorney, to make decisions on your behalf. For people with dementia, where decision-making abilities can decline over time, having an LPA offers short and long-term peace of mind.

What will this allow you to do?

Keeping Your Autonomy

Dementia can gradually affect your ability to make decisions. By setting up a power of attorney as soon as possible, you maintain some control over who will make choices for you in the future. This means your wishes are still respected even when you cannot voice them.

Managing Your Affairs

As dementia progresses, handling finances and making healthcare decisions can be challenging. An LPA lets you choose someone to handle these matters for you, making sure they’re managed correctly and in your best interests.

Avoiding Legal Hassles

Without a power of attorney, your loved ones will find it difficult to get authority to make decisions for you. They may have to go through a time-consuming and expensive court process. Having an LPA saves your family and friends from this hassle and leaves them clear instructions during a tough time.

Protecting Against Exploitation

Dementia can make you vulnerable to financial exploitation. With an LPA, you choose a trusted person to act in your best interests, guarding against abuse and ensuring they responsibly manage your assets and wishes.

Ensuring Care

A Lasting Power of Attorney lets you appoint someone to choose your care. This means your wishes regarding medical treatment and living arrangements will be respected, providing comfort and safety.

Overall, a power of attorney is a proactive step toward protecting your interests and dignity as you face challenges. By planning ahead and nominating a trusted attorney, you can make sure your affairs are handled according to your wishes, even when you can’t express them yourself.

It’s about facing the future confidently, knowing you’ve taken steps to look out for yourself and your loved ones during difficult times.

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How do I set up a Power of Attorney?

1) You can get LPA forms and an information pack from the Office of the Public Guardian. Download them here or call 0300 456 0300. Alternatively, you can set up an LPA using the online service on GOV.UK.


2) You can fill out the forms yourself, but you’ll need to take care. Making mistakes could mean your LPA is rejected, and you need to pay to reapply. The Office of the Public Guardian has a guide to completing the forms, or if you need help, you can call them on 0300 456 0300.


3) You must sign and send the completed forms to the Office of the Public Guardian. If you’ve downloaded or used the online service, you must print the forms before signing.


4) Then, your LPA must be signed by a ‘certificate provider’ – someone who confirms that you understand the LPA and haven’t been pressured to sign it. The certificate provider must either be someone you’ve known well for at least two years or a professional person, such as a doctor or solicitor. Certain people, including your partner or family, cannot be your certificate provider.


5) Finally, the LPA must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. You can only use your LPA once registration is complete, which can take a few weeks. You can register your LPA if you have the mental capacity. If you sign an LPA while you still have mental capacity but lose capacity before registering it, your attorney can register it for you.

Please consider legal advice before signing any legally binding documents.

Alzheimer’s Society provides digital assistance to help people complete the LPA forms. Contact them if you don’t feel able to complete the forms or don’t have access to the internet, for example. Contact their support line on 0333 150 3456

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