It is vitally important that you have an up to date Will, and this is something that a lot of people “put off” because they don’t think it will affect them yet, either they are too young, or feel like they are fit and healthy. But it is important everyone should have one, just in case, especially with the current pandemic, you never know what is around the corner. Speak to one of our specialist Will and Probate lawyers at Bond Adams LLP, for advice.
Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)
Mental health can affect children, young adults, or the elderly. If you are lacking mental capacity, you can appoint someone, to help you make the decisions or make decision on your behalf. This person is called a lasting power of attorney. This gives you more control over what happens to you if you have an accident or an illness and cannot make your own decisions.
You must be 18 or over and have mental capacity (the ability to make your own decisions) when you make your LPA. You do not need to live in the UK or be a British citizen.
There are 2 types of LPA:
- health and welfare
Giving an attorney the power to make decisions about things like: your daily routine, for example, washing, dressing, eating
– medical care and or life sustaining treatment
2. property and financial affairs
Giving an attorney the power to make decisions about money and property for you, for example:
– managing a bank or building society account
– bill payments and or debt clearing
You can choose to make one type or both.
Enduring Power of Attorney
You can help make or make decisions about someone’s property and money if they appointed you using an enduring power of attorney (EPA).
The person who appointed you is called the ‘donor’ – you are their ‘attorney’.
Any decision you make on the donor’s behalf must be in their best interests.
You’ll need to check if the donor has given you specific instructions or guidance in the EPA document that will affect your responsibilities.
Only EPAs made and signed before October 1, 2007, can still be used. After that date donors had to make a lasting power of attorney (LPA) instead. If you feel you require this, or know of someone who may need this, get in touch with Bond Adams Solicitors LLP, who can help guide you for the best outcome.
You can apply to become someone’s deputy if they ‘lack mental capacity’. This means they cannot decide for themselves at the time it needs to be made but they may still be able to make decisions for themselves at certain times.
People may lack mental capacity because, for example:
- A serious brain injury
- Severe learning disabilities
As a deputy, you will be authorised by the Court of Protection to make decisions on their behalf.
A deputy is of two types and carries out the same decisions as a lasting Power of Attorney:
1. Property and financial affairs deputy
2. Personal welfare deputy
You cannot become someone’s personal welfare deputy if they are under 16.
The court will usually only appoint a personal welfare deputy if:
- there’s doubt whether decisions will be made in someone’s best interests, for example because the family disagree about care
- someone needs to be appointed to make decisions about a specific issue over time, for example where someone will live.
If mental health affects yourself, whether it be severe or mild, or affects someone you love and need help in deciding what is the best course of action, then our compassionate team at Bond Adams LLP are happy to help.