A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document giving someone you trust the authority to make decisions on your behalf if you lack mental capacity at some time in the future, or no longer wish to make decisions for yourself.
There are three types of LPA: a Property and Financial LPA; a Health and Welfare LPA and a Business LPA.
None can be used unless registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. If they are not, it is the Office of the Public Guardian that decides your fate. This can leave your family and your business with unimaginable financial and emotional problems, as reported by Dominic Littlewood on The One Show.
If you become unable to make decisions for yourself and you do not have an LPA, the court has the legal power to make decisions about your life. Although your family could win the right to do so, they would have to go through a lengthy, expensive legal process if they wish to act on your behalf.
"Mental capacity" means being able to make your own decisions. Someone lacking capacity - "because of an illness or disability such as a mental health problem, dementia or a learning disability" - cannot do one or more of the following four things:
Should you lose mental capacity, a LPA:
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