12 Mar 2024
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Lasting Power of Attorney and the Mental Capacity Act

The Mental Capacity Act and Lasting Power of Attorney are important elements of a process that allows a loved one to make decisions for someone without the capability to do so themselves.

If a situation arises which sees someone without the ability to make decisions independently, due to illness and/or injury, then they’d want a person who they know and trust to take their place in the process.

Whether it is healthcare choices, from living arrangements to what a person wears on a day-to-day basis, or financial decision-making, the person affected should choose who has this responsibility.

Make sure that decision is not left to the future when it could be too late.

What is the Mental Capacity Act (MCA)?

This is a legal provision that protects those who may lack the mental capacity to make their own decisions about care and treatment.

Covering a range of decisions – from what to buy from the supermarket on a weekly basis to life-changing decisions about where a person lives – those lacking mental capacity may include people with dementia, a brain injury, or someone who has had a stroke. This is not an exhaustive list.

The MCA provides guidance on decision making in these scenarios, with the best interests of the person affected of paramount importance. 

Lasting Power of Attorney

When discussing the Mental Capacity Act, Lasting Power of Attorney may well come up in conversation.

This is a process that designates responsibilities in relation to healthcare decisions and/or managing the finances of someone on their behalf should they lose mental capacity because of illness or injury.

When looking at the two together, the Mental Capacity Act allows a person to utilise Lasting Power of Attorney to appoint an attorney. This is a title given to someone who can, by law, make decisions in your best interests based on the scope of the valid Lasting Power of Attorney in place. 

Who should be your attorney?

That’s a decision for you, based on your wishes and unique circumstances. There’s no standardised answer to this and the role doesn’t require any legal experience. Simply, it should be someone you trust to make the right decisions by you should the situation arise where you cannot communicate your wishes yourself.

This could be a partner, a member of the family, a close friend, or, if you’d prefer, a legal professional.

A hugely important choice – remember, they’d make decisions potentially about your healthcare and day-to-day lifestyle – it is one to take time over to come to the right conclusion for you.

How can Winns help?

Considering the Mental Capacity Act and Lasting Power of Attorney? Let an experienced legal professional provide guidance and advice to help you through the process.

Ensuring it is done correctly mitigates potential issues further down the line. Rely on the diligent, empathetic, and experienced specialists in our Wills, Probate, and Trust team and make the best choice for your future.

Book an appointment by clicking on the button below.

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