A Property and Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney (often shortened to “LPA” or simply “Power of Attorney”) allows you to plan ahead by choosing one or more people to make decisions on your behalf regarding your property and financial affairs.
You appoint a property and affairs Attorney(s) to manage your finances and property whilst you still have capacity, yet crucially the power continues if you ever lack capacity to carry on dealing with your legal and financial affairs personally.
This might be easier for lots of reasons; you might find it difficult to get about or to talk on the telephone, or you might be out of the country for long periods of time. The time that most people need to call upon this type of Power of Attorney however is if they are too ill to continue dealing with their affairs themselves, or simply find it easier to ask others to deal with it for them.
You can decide to give your Attorney(s) the power to make decisions about any or all of your property and affairs. This includes paying your bills, collecting your benefits, assisting you with your back accounts and, in extreme circumstances, selling your house.
It is crucial that you create the document whilst you still have sufficient understanding. If you keep putting it off, or leave it too late, you may not be able to make an LPA, meaning your family have to instead make a Court of Protection Deputyship application which is a lot harder to do, and more onerous for the family member on an ongoing basis.
This type of LPA does not allow the person(s) you have chosen as Attorney to make decisions about your personal welfare. If you want someone to be able to make personal welfare decisions on your behalf you will need to make a Health and Welfare LPA.