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LASTING POWERS OF ATTORNEY – FOR YOUNG PEOPLE WITH SPECIAL EDUCATION NEEDS OR DISABILITIES

WHAT IS AN LPA AND WHY IS IT RELEVANT TO ME?

The term, Lasting Power of Attorney, or LPA, is one that you will have heard about or read about in the paper. What does it actually mean? In short, it allows one adult to appoint another adult to look after their financial affairs or their health, if they lose their ability to make their own decisions. We tend to think it is something for older people to worry about, certainly not for the younger generation.

What happens though if you are a young adult that needs that extra support from a parent or trusted friend?  If you are a young person with special educational needs or  disabilities for example, it is important that you have ongoing support available once you have passed the age of 18, because before that age a parent can always speak on behalf of their child.  After 18, it may become a bit more difficult.

An LPA allows an adult parent to help their adult child with financial issues and paperwork, and this is important to a young person who may find those things stressful or anxiety inducing.  It may be that a young person needs an attorney for a period of time and as they get older they become more confident in dealing with their affairs, in which case the LPA is no longer needed.  Conversely, a young person may consider putting an LPA in place for the future if they know that later on in life they will need that extra help.  Either way, it is a powerful and useful document.

HOW DO I GET AN LPA?

I often have young people come to see me with their parents to discuss this. Firstly, you need to show that you have the requisite mental capacity.  That is a complicated way of saying that you need to show that you  have the ability to make your own decisions.  If you can show that then you can appoint an attorney, or more than one, to help you with your finances.  You can also fill out another LPA form for your health so that in the future, if you lose that ability to make decisions, then your parents, siblings or friends, can make decisions about your health themselves.  They always need to act in your best interests and all this will be explained in the meeting.

WHAT IF MY CHILD LACKS MENTAL CAPACITY?

We then need to consider a Deputyship application which means that the Court of Protection would appoint you or the appropriate person to look after the  affairs  of your child under a court order.

WHAT DO I NEED TO DO NEXT?

This is where QualitySolicitors Parkinson Wright can help.  We are trained in advising on lasting powers of attorney and can fill out the forms for you.  We will also get them registered so they are ready to use if required.  Please contact us on 01905 721600

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