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Power of Attorneys
Lasting power of Attorney
A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a legal document that lets you (the 'donor') appoint one or more people (known as 'attorneys') to help you make decisions or to make decisions on your behalf.
This gives you more control over what happens to you if you have an accident or an illness and cannot make your own decisions (you 'lack mental capacity').
As someone becomes more unwell, they're likely to find it more difficult to manage money and financial affairs, and may become too unwell to make decisions about health and finances. If this is a worry, they can give someone power of attorney to make decisions and take care of things on their behalf.
In general it's better to do it sooner rather than later. This is because it can only be set up when someone has the mental capacity to make their own decisions. 'Mental capacity' means that you are able to understand information and make and communicate your decision
Immediate Power of Attorney
An Immediate Power of Attorney gives (the attorney) the same powers to act on (the donors) behalf when it comes to making decisions regarding their finances or business affairs. The difference being is this takes effect immediately and unlike a Lasting Power of Attorney this can be applied and used when the donor has capacity but is unable to, or is finding it difficult to manage their finances of business affairs.
There is no need to register an Immediate Power of Attorney with the office of the public guardian so there is no wait time for it to be ready to execute. Some people may set up an Immediate Power of Attorney when going away for an extending period of time or during a temporary illness.