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A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a document which allows a person or people (referred to as your Attorney(s)) of your choosing to legally manage your affairs and make decisions on your behalf. There are two types of LPA: Property & Financial Affairs and Health & Welfare. Both are required to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before the Attorney(s) can act under them.
The Property & Financial Affairs LPA allows your Attorney(s) to make decisions on your behalf with regard to the management of your finances, including your bank or building society accounts, payment of bills, dealing with benefits etc. and, where necessary, dealing with the sale of your home. Your Attorney(s) must only act in accordance with your wishes and instructions, and can only act in your best interests. Having the LPA in place does not prevent you from continuing to manage your affairs yourself while you are able.
The Health & Welfare LPA allows your chosen Attorney(s) to make decisions regarding things such as your medical care and routine, where you live (for example, a suitable care home) and provides the option for you to give your Attorney(s) the authority to make decisions as to life-sustaining treatment. You can appoint the same people as Attorneys for both your Property & Financial Affairs LPA and Health & Welfare LPA if you wish. However, your Attorney(s) can only make decisions as to your health and welfare once you are no longer able to make those decisions for yourself.