The Mental Capacity Act allows people to plan for a time in the future when they may lack capacity to make decisions for themselves. This part of the act applies to people over the age of 18.
Lasting Power of Attorney
Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a process that allows a person to identify and authorise an individual, or a group of people, to make decisions on their behalf if, at some point in the future, they no longer have capacity to make those decisions for themselves.
Everyone should consider setting up an LPA.
The LPA can authorise the person appointed to make decisions about:
- health and welfare
- property and financial affairs
or both of these things.
Advanced decisions allows a person over the age of 18, who has capacity, to state any medical treatment they may not wish to receive in the future. This make their wishes clear so that family and doctors can make the decisions that they would have made themselves if they were able to do so.
The My Decisions website is a useful tool to use when considering the sort of decisions that family or doctors might need to make in the future. It guides the user through questions to get them thinking about what might be important to them in specific situations / circumstances. At the end it generates a legal document which can be printed, signed and shared with family and doctors.
More detailed advice about LPA can be found in the Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice (chapter 9).