Power of Attorney Guide
Where someone lacks the mental ability to make decisions on their own it may be necessary for somebody else (often a family member) to make certain decisions on their behalf - this arrangement if made is called power of attorney. Under the Mental Capacity Act of 2005 five principles were set out when assessing whether somebody lacks the capacity to make decisions on their own behalf:
- A person must be assumed to have capacity to make their own decisions unless it is established that he/she lacks capacity
- A person is not to be treated as unable to make a decision unless all practicable steps to help him/her to do so have been taken without success
- A person is not to be treated as unable to make a decision merely becasuse he/she makes an unwise decision
- An act done or decision made under the Act or on behalf of the person who lacks capacity must be done in his/her best interests
- Before making a decision on someone without capacity all alternatives must be considered and the option selected should be the least restrictive of a person's rights and freedom of action.
Mental capacity with regard to the above is the ability of an individual to communicate and make their own decisions.
Different Types of Power of Attorney
There are different types of Power of Attorney - see below:
Type of Power of Attorney
Power of Attorney Features
Ordinary Power of Attorney
If you are 18 or older and have the mental capacity to make your own decisions you can arrange for someone else with authority to deal with your financial affairs. This power will come to an end if you lose the mental capacity to make decisions about your own finances.
Lasting Power of Attorney
A Lasting Power of Attorney for property and affairs (Property and Affairs LPA) can be sanctioned by you if you want someone else to look after your financial affairs even if you lose your mental capacity and ability to make financial decisions. This replaces the Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) Act 1985. A Property and Affairs LPA has to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before it is legally recognized.
Lasting Power of Attorney
|A Lasting Power of Attorney relating to a person's welfare (Personal Welfare LPA) can be sanctioned by you if you want someone else to look after your personal care and welfare after you lose your mental capacity and ability to make decisions. This replaces the Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) Act 1985. A Personal Welfare LPA has to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before it is legally recognized.|
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