Goodwills Cumbria are able to both Prepare and Register Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA's).
With a Lasting Power Of Attorney (LPA) in place, you have the security and peace of mind of knowing that a trusted person, or persons, (Attorney(s)), will act in your best interest should you lose your mental capacity to make decisions in the future.
You can appoint one, or more, and have Reserve Attorneys also, if required. A Professional Attorney can also be appointed if necessary, or preferred : Goodwills Legal Services is able to act as Professional Attorney should you wish them to do so.
There are two types of Lasting Power Of Attorney, as follows ;
A Lasting Power Of Attorney can be for Property & Financial Affairs,
Or, Health & Welfare.
A Property and Financial Affairs LPA gives your Attorneys the power to make decisions relating to your home and finances. This is extremely important as it ensures that your loved ones are able to pay for care home fees and ensure that any ongoing bills are paid for. This also gives them the power to rent out, or sell your property to help pay for such costs, as long as doing so is in your best interests.
A Health & Welfare LPA gives your Attorneys the power to make decisions relating to your medical / social care, and things like who is able to visit you once you have lost capacity. You are able to choose whether or not your Attorneys are allowed to make decisions regarding life sustaining treatment decisions, which of course, is of great importance to most of our clients.
Should somebody lose their mental capacity with no LPA in place, then a Deputyship application to Court must be made. This is a process which can take many months, and is also a very costly process in comparison to making LPA's. Furthermore, the person who has lost their capacity does not have any control over who is appointed as their Deputy, and the person who is appointed as Deputy can only make significant decisions with the approval of the Court.
For this reason, Goodwills always recommends making LPA's now, and whilst you have the capacity. It is worth mentioning that capacity can sometimes be lost suddenly, for example due to a stroke, which is why we always recommend making LPA's to all clients, regardless of their age.
Advance Decisions (Living Wills)
Advance Decisions, which used to known as Advanced Medical Directives and are commonly referred to as Living Wills, are a type of document which specifies that you do not want life sustaining treatment to be given if you are in a vegetative, or comparable state.
Most clients are happy to simply set up a Health and Welfare LPA, which gives their Attorneys the power to decide what should happen in these circumstances, but some clients specifically want to make this decision in their own lifetime.
Many clients also feel that making that decision themselves, in a clearly recorded manner, reduces the burden on their Attorneys, who would otherwise have to make such a decision.
A preferable alternative to Advance Decisions is a Health & Welfare LPA, which states refusal, or acceptance, of life sustaining treatment.
BBC1 - The One Show - Lasting Powers of Attorney
Many people do not realise the importance of setting up Lasting Powers of Attorney. This three minute video shows a real life example of what can happen if you do not have Lasting Powers of Attorney properly set up and the difficulties it can cause your family if you become unable to manage your own affairs.