Former Coronation Street star, Leandra Ashton sparked widespread media attention when she shared images of her mother, Ylenia Angeli, being arrested for trying to break her 97-year-old grandmother out of a care home. The incident happened at the height of the coronavirus pandemic when care homes had effectively banned all visitors from visiting their loved ones.

While Ylenia had a financial lasting power of attorney (LPA) for her mother, she did not have a health and welfare LPA. This meant she did not have the authority to remove her mother, a dementia sufferer, from the care home, so she was returned shortly after.

Donna Rowland, an Associate in the Private Client department at WBW Solicitors in Abbot, outlines the differences between the two types of LPA and explains why it is a good idea to have both in place.

What is an LPA?

An LPA is legal document that allows you the donor to choose one or more individuals to serve as your attorneys to make important decisions on your behalf should you lose mental capacity. There are two types:

  • A financial LPA enables your attorneys to handle issues such as managing your bank accounts and your investments, paying your bills, applying for benefits, and buying and selling your property.
  • A health and welfare LPA gives your attorneys the power to make decisions for you about things like where you should live and whether to continue life-sustaining treatment, as well as day-to-day issues such as eating, washing and medical care.

Both kinds enable you to set out in writing how you would like things to be managed while you are incapacitated, providing guidance to your attorneys and placing any restrictions on the powers they have that you feel are required.

How a solicitor can help

Drafting an LPA can be a complicated business and if you make a mistake this could prove costly for you and your loved ones.

If you lose mental capacity and do not have the correct LPA in place, your loved ones would have to make an application to the Court of Protection to have any say in your affairs. This whole process can take months and is much more costly and distressing than making an LPA in the first place.

If you still have not made your LPA, speak to a specialist legal advisor to ensure you have considered every angle and that the final documents are legally binding and exactly reflect your wishes.

For more information on creating lasting powers of attorney, or any other private client issue, contact Donna Rowland at WBW Solicitors in Newton Abbot on 01626 202416 or email donnarowland@wbw.co.uk.

This article is for general information only and does not constitute legal or professional advice. Please note that the law may have changed since this article was published.