To protect and help those individuals who have lost the mental capacity in making their own medical and care decisions, the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) was created. The power of attorney provided under MCA is known as the Lasting Power of Attorney which helps individuals to appoint an attorney to manage their affairs if they are incapacitated.
Assessing mental capacity for a Power Of Attorney is necessary to avoid implications. If you have a client who has lost the mental capacity and wants to obtain a Power of Attorney, please get in touch with our professionals at Mental Capacity Assess.
What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
It is a legal document that enables individuals with the lost mental capacity to give the power to handle their affairs to an appointed person. This includes decision making in relation to finances, property, future health care, personal care, and welfare decisions of an individual.
Who can assess Mental Capacity for Power of Attorney?
Just because a person has a mental disorder, this doesn’t necessarily mean they lack the capacity to make a specific decision. A trained mental capacity assessor, such as a psychiatrist can determine if an individual has the mental capacity to make a decision. Our services include completing the process of mental capacity assessment for power of attorney.
What is the test for Power of Attorney Mental Capacity Assessment?
There is a 2 stage test following the MCA;
1. Does the person have the mental capacity to make a decision? (Functional Test)
2. Is the incapacity to make a decision arising from an impairment or imbalance in the functioning of a person’s mind or brain?
This may be due to long-term conditions such as mental illness, dementia, or learning disability, or more acute conditions such as confusion, unconsciousness, drug or alcohol effects (Diagnostic Test).
The Two Types of LPA
- Health And Welfare
This grants the attorney the authority to make health and care decisions for the donor. It includes daily decisions such as food and drink, clothes and activities, and bigger decisions such as where to reside and whether to seek medical care.
- Financial and Property Affairs
It gives an attorney the power to make decisions about the properties and finances of the donor. Often, these may be day-to-day decisions, such as paying a bill or making more complicated financial choices, such as selling donor property or shares.
Appointing an Attorney
The named attorney need not be a lawyer or anyone with professional expertise. You can appoint someone like your spouse, a member of your family, a colleague, or a professional. A person must be 18 or older to create an LPA and have the mental capacity to agree to do so.
Why Mental Capacity Assessment is important for obtaining Power of Attorney?
When preparing a lasting power of attorney, if your mental capacity is challenged at a future date, the document may be overturned by the court, meaning that your wishes will not be fulfilled. If you or your loved one is dealing with a mental condition, the mental capacity must be assessed to avoid future complications.
If you have a client who has lost the mental capacity and require further information, please get in touch.