A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) specifically deals with the appointment of one or more people to manage your affairs if you are unable to do so. If you lose capacity either through an accident or illness such as a stroke or dementia, someone needs to act on your behalf to carry out your personal and financial affairs. If you lose the legal capacity to make decisions for yourself, your bank accounts are frozen (even if it is a joint account)* until someone can be appointed to make decisions for you. This inevitably can cause a lot of distress for friends and family as bills cannot be paid and pensions or benefits cannot be accessed.
The LPA system is administered by the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG), an agency of the Ministry of Justice of the United Kingdom. The OPG was set up in 2007 under the Mental Capacity Act 2005, replacing the similarly-named Public Guardianship Office which had a more limited range of responsibilities.
It is headed by the Public Guardian, whose main role is the protection of people who are vulnerable or may lack mental capacity.The Mental Health Act 2005 provides a statutory framework to empower and protect vulnerable people who are not able to make their own decisions. It makes clear who can take decisions on their behalf, in which situations, and how they should do so. Through the LPA, the Act enables people to plan ahead for a time when they may lose capacity