What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
A Lasting Power of Attorney is an important legal document that allows someone to choose other people who they want to make decisions on their behalf when they lack mental or physical capacity to make decisions themselves.
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA):
Property and Financial Affairs - deals with property and assets. Effective as soon as registered with the Office of Public Guardian.
Health and Welfare - covers decisions about healthcare and treatment. Only effective if you lack the mental capacity to make decisions.
Anyone over the age of 18 can make an LPA.
A properly drafted and registered LPA gives legal authority to deal with matters on your behalf, such as:
- Buying or selling property
- Giving or refusing medical treatment
By choosing to have an LPA, it puts you in control of who would make decisions for you on your behalf, but whilst you were still alive.
No Lasting Power of Attorney?
This would mean that friends or family would have to apply to the Court of Protection to be appointed as a "Deputy".
A "Deputy" can be a person that would have been chosen as an attorney but ultimately it is a matter for the Court to decide.
It is possible though that the entirely wrong person could be appointed as your deputy because the Court of Protection do not know who you would trust.
How To Make A Lasting Power of Attorney
Need the following:
At least one person to act as your attorney
At least one certificate provider
At least one person to be told or a second certificate provider
At least one witness
Attorneys - the people to make decisions for you.
Replacement Attorneys - substitutes for Attorneys
How your attorneys should act - jointly, severally or joint & severally.
Minimum of 1 but no maximum, although too many attorneys might make things difficult.
Do not have to have replacements but can be useful
Should be people that you trust to make decisions on your behalf.
Who Are The Office or Public Guardian?
Deals with registration of LPA's
Keeps register of all active LPA's
Deals with any concerns or complaints relating to LPA's.
How We Can Help
We can provide assistance to prepare the LPA and register it with the Office of Public Guardian.
You shall be guided through all the stages for creating a valid LPA, with one of our specialists.
The support that you shall receive will ensure that you understand what is being done and what is required from you at each stage.
There is ongoing help provided to make sure that this process is as simple and straightforward as possible.
For one LPA of either type, it is £150.
For both LPA's, it is £250.
The use of Welfare LPA's - It is possible to argue that these LPA's are unnecessary, however, without the legal status of the Welfare LPA, it is likely to be difficult for relatives trying to challenge a local authority about level or extent of care services being provided for an elderly relative who lacks capacity.
Please note that an Attorney acting under Property and Affairs LPA has not got implied status to make welfare decisions simply because they "hold the purse strings", so whilst the Welfare LPA is less common, they should still be encouraged. This is to avoid the risk of care and treatment decisions being made by people that the donor would not want to make that decision.