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Lasting Power of Attorney

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

A document which allows your appointed attorneys to act on your behalf when you cannot make decisions for yourself. There are two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney (“LPA”). You may choose to set up both types or just one.

Property and Financial Affairs

Your attorneys will be allowed to make decisions about your property and financial affairs, such as selling your property, accessing your bank accounts, paying your bills and buying and selling investments.

While you have mental capacity, your Attorneys can deal with these matters for you with your consent but if you lose mental capacity, then your attorneys can deal with your property and financial affairs even if you do not have sufficient understanding to give them permission to do so

Health and Welfare

Your attorneys will be able to make decisions on all aspects of your health and care, including where you live, who visits you and the type of care you receive.

You can choose whether to give your attorneys the power to accept or refuse life sustaining treatment on your behalf.

This LPA can only be used when you lack the capacity to make such decisions for yourself.

Why do I need a Lasting Power of Attorney?

By preparing an LPA you will have the peace of mind of knowing exactly who will be responsible for looking after you when you are unable to make decisions for yourself.

What happens if you become incapable and you do not have a Lasting Power of Attorney?

Your financial affairs may be put under the control of the Court of Protection. This Court would then decide who would manage your affairs. The person who is appointed (called “the Deputy”) may not necessarily be someone you know or the one you would want to deal with your affairs.

The Deputyship process can be expensive and time-consuming. Annual accounts must be sent to the Court of Protection for approval and the Deputy’s powers to manage your affairs are usually limited.

Health and welfare decisions may be made for you by the Local Authority and Medical Practitioners based on what are deemed to be your best interests. These best interest decisions might, of course, not actually reflect your true wishes.

Who should I choose as my Attorneys?

You can appoint any adult or adults you wish, for example you could appoint a family member, a friend, or a professional person. However, you should choose with care as the powers given by an LPA can be very wide.

How your Attorneys can act on your behalf?

If you appoint more than one attorney, you must specify how you would like for them to act. The options are:

Jointly and Severally – Any of your Attorneys will be able to make decisions on your behalf either together or individually. Only one Attorney is required to give authority for a decision.

Jointly – All your Attorneys must make decisions together and give authority for decisions together. If any of them die or lose mental capacity, the LPA will cease to have effect.

Jointly for some decisions and jointly and severally for others – There may be some situations where your Attorneys can act independently and others when they must act together.

How do I register an LPA?

Your attorneys can only use the LPA’s after they have been registered at the Office of the Public Guardian. The registration process usually takes 8-10 weeks but can be longer.

You do not need to register your documents straight away, however, the advantage of immediate registration is that the documents will be effective and ready to use should they be needed suddenly, otherwise your attorneys would have to wait for the registration process to be completed after you have lost capacity.

Who are the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG)?

The OPG is a Government body responsible for the registration of these important documents. They do charge for registrations and their fee is a separate cost payable to them directly upon registration.

What does it cost to create a Lasting Power of Attorney?

There are normally two costs associated with the creation of an LPA. There will be our charge for creating the document and then the fee charged by the OPG for the registration of each document. Our fee for an LPA is only £200 per document. Please note that this does not include the registration cost (with the Office of the Public Guardian) although you may be entitled to a remission on the OPG fees depending on your circumstances. We will explore this with you.

Heather Bateman’s LPA Story (as featured on The One Show) with Dominic Littlewood

This video tells the sad story of Heather Bateman and her husband Michael and what can happen if you don’t have an LPA in place.

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