If you care for someone else there may come a time when you have to manage their affairs.
The Mental Capacity Act 2005 protects people aged 16 and over who are unable to make certain decisions for themselves, perhaps due to learning disabilities, mental health problems or because of an illness, for example dementia.
It enables people to choose someone to manage their finances and property should they become incapable of doing so and also to make health and welfare decisions on their behalf.
This needs to be carefully thought out and the best way to do this is to plan for the future by drawing up a legal agreement known as a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).
What is a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)?
There are two types of LPA that enable you to make decisions on someone else's behalf:
- Property and affairs - This can include paying bills, managing a bank account or selling property
- Personal welfare - This can include decisions about their health and personal welfare, such as giving consent to medical treatment or deciding where they should live.
You should be aware that a LPA is a powerful and important legal document and you may wish to seek legal advice from a solicitor with experience of preparing them. There are likely to be costs involved for this work.