Lasting Power of Attorney

Behavioural economics reveals that we may not be motivated to consider care needs while we're in good physical and mental health. We’re more likely to procrastinate, meaning we may confront this issue at a point when we’re no longer capable of dealing with it. For a person over the age of 65, the chance of developing Alzheimer's disease or dementia doubles roughly every five years. Estimates suggest that dementia affects one in six people aged over 80. This means people may want to act early to plan for the prospect that they may require care later in life.

One solution for your client is to appoint a Power of Attorney. A Power of Attorney gives legal power to one or more people to help make decisions, or to make decisions on behalf of another person. 

Different types of Power of Attorney

There are different types of Power of Attorney, but for someone who wants only to pass control of their affairs when they lose mental capacity (unless they give specific permission before), Lasting Power of Attorney is the solution.  

There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney:

  • Health and welfare gives an attorney authority to make decisions about medical care like moving into a care home, for example.
  • Property and financial affairs means an attorney can manage money and property including bill payments. 

Choosing an attorney

An attorney should be someone your client trusts. It could be a partner or spouse, another family member, a close friend or a professional. It can be more than one person, but the client should specify whether each attorney can act alone or whether decisions should be agreed collectively (a hybrid approach is also possible).

If someone loses the capacity to act without setting up a Power of Attorney, the Court of Protection can appoint a deputy to make decisions on their behalf.

Read Your guide to Lasting Power of Attorney PDF size: 1.1MB on setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney. It will look at: 

  • When should your client set one up?
  • What are the risks if they don’t set up a Lasting Power of Attorney?
  • What types of Lasting Power of Attorney are available?
  • What are the costs involved?
  • Key steps in setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney.