They will not be able to pay bills or manage the bank accounts. They will not be permitted to sell assets, if, for example, that was required to fund ongoing care.
Family members will have less involvement in decisions regarding their loved one's care and medical treatment.
Care providers often consult family members regarding significant care and medical decisions, but a health and welfare LPA gives the attorney greater standing in such decisions.
If there is no EPA or LPA, those seeking to act on their behalf will need to apply to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship Order and this involves instructing solicitors to issue proceedings.
The application process can take some time to complete and is more costly than putting LPA in place before the loss of capacity. By making an LPA, the donor retains control over choice of who should act for them, rather than this being decided by the court.
How do I make an LPA?
LPAs can be made by anyone over age 18. It is preferable for an LPA to be made when it is clear that the donor has capacity.
LPAs are not just for the elderly: loss of capacity can happen as a result of accident or illness and it is prudent to put one in place at the earliest opportunity.
The process involves the completion of forms for each LPA. Several aspects need to be considered, depending on the donor's personal situation, their wishes and their asset base.
Who to appoint and how should attorneys act?
The donor must decide who to appoint as their attorney (or attorneys). The position of attorney is one of great authority and trust; the donor should give this decision careful thought.
The donor needs to be satisfied that their attorney understands their wishes, respects their values and will act in their best interests.
The appointed attorney must be over age 18, have mental capacity and, in the case of a property and financial affairs LPA, not be bankrupt or subject to a debt relief order.
A professional attorney (such as a solicitor) can be appointed, but this will be more costly as professional fees are likely to be charged. A non-professional attorney is usually unpaid, but they can reclaim expenses incurred when acting as attorney.
The donor can appoint more than one attorney, and they should carefully consider whether the chosen attorneys will be able to work effectively together. The donor can appoint different attorneys under each LPA, or the same people.