Infographic: Understanding Lasting Powers of Attorney

From time to time I use this site to draw attention to useful “infographics” which will help people understand legal issues, or access the legal help they need, more easily.

My blogs on Personal Independence Payments and Legal Aid are earlier items in this series.

Of course I can’t guarantee the accuracy of the information provided by others, but I do my best to identify sources that seem reliable and safe to use.

This blog is about Lasting Powers of Attorney, a concept I helped to create in 1995 when the Law Commission published its major report on Mental Incapacity.  Rizwan Rashid is a specialist on Islamic Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney specialist with I Will Solicitors (http://www.iwillsolicitors.com/our-services/powers-of-attorney/), and he has produced this infographic on the topic of Lasting Powers of Attorney which explains the subject very well.

I believe that it will be easy for people who are not trained lawyers to understand it.

He explains the subject like this:

The choices that we make shape us as people and define our lives, but for some people, the ability to make decisions for themselves diminishes over time. When a person no longer has the mental capacity to decide matters for him/herself, he/she will ideally have a trusted party nominated to make those decisions instead.

This authority can be granted in a Lasting Power of Attorney, a legal document whereby an individual or group is given the power to make decisions regarding another person’s financial and personal affairs after that person has lost mental capacity. The individuals or groups granted this power are known as attorneys and they should be mature, trustworthy people who will act in the best interests of someone for whom they are making such crucial decisions.

Attorneys can make decisions such as choosing a care home, consent to healthcare, managing the person’s bank account, paying bills on the person’s behalf and buying or selling the person’s home. They may not consent to marriage, divorce, abortion, adoption or a change in gender or religion. It is imperative that an attorney understands his/her role and does not use it to exploit or take advantage of the person who has lost mental capacity.

This is the Infographic.

Please note (as is explained under “Two Types of LPA below”) that whereas a LPA can be used in relation to property and finances both before and after the donor lacks capacity, a LPA for health and welfare can only apply after capacity is lost.  The fees have also been reduced.

Further information and free telephone advice can be obtained via compassionindying.org.uk@AGoodDeath

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