Power of Attorney – Key Terms You Need to Understand

Posted on: February 3, 2020

power of attorney terms

Most people have heard of Will writing, even if they haven’t yet met with a professional to get their drawn up correctly. However, fewer people have heard of the Power of Attorney (LPA).

A Power of Attorney is a legal document that allows your chosen Attorney (individual or number of individuals) to act on your behalf should you lose mental capacity. This could be on a temporary or permanent basis. There are essentially two types of LPAs – Health and Welfare; Finance and Property. The Health and Welfare LPA looks at the health care that you receive as well as where and how you are to be treated. The Finance and Property LPA covers handling your money, paying any bills that are due and also your residential status and where you are to live in the future.

When you decide to have LPAs drawn up, you will be required to nominate either one or a number of ‘Attorneys’ who you are happy to have acting on your behalf should you lose capacity in the future. Losing capacity is defined as not being able to make sound decisions for yourself. This could be as a result of an accident or medical condition.

As these documents are legally binding and will affect the way that your health, wellbeing and financial affairs are dealt with it is important to always be aware of the key terms within the documents. We take our clients who are looking for a Cheltenham Power of Attorney through each stage of the process step by step.

power of attorney terms

Here are the key terms that you need to be aware of:

  • Court of Protection – a department of the High Court here in the UK that has been appointed to deal with the protection and rights of any individual that no longer has the capacity to be able to make their own decisions and deal with their financial affairs effectively.
  • Donor – this is the individual that is making the LPA who wants to protect themselves should they no longer have capacity to make decisions
  • Attorney – the individual or individuals that are appointed by the Donor to act on their behalf either on one or both LPAs that are put in place. It is common for the individuals on each LPA to be different. The number of people that you appointed to be Attorney’s will depend very much on whether you are happy for an individual to act alone or whether you would prefer them to have to consult with another appointed individual in order to make decisions.
  • Property and Finance – this LPA relates to any decisions surrounding the bank account, investments, savings, pensions and other forms of income of the Donor as well as the payment of bills, and decisions relating to any property that is owned.
  • Health and Welfare – this LPA relates to any decisions surrounding the medical care, daily routine of the Donor and any specialist support that they may need, whether they are to be placed in nursing care and any life sustaining treatment options.

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