Lasting Power of Attorney Preparation
What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a legal document that allows you to appoint one or more people (your Attorneys) to make decisions on your behalf during your lifetime. It is like an insurance policy in that it is there in the background to enable you (as the donor) to receive assistance if your physical or mental health deteriorates either temporarily or more permanently.
An LPA can only be made by a person who has MENTAL CAPACITY. You must be able to understand the nature and effect of the document. After this point you cannot enter into an LPA and no one can do so on your behalf.
Once you have an LPA in place you can have peace of mind that there is someone you can trust to look after your affairs if you are unable to do so.
The LPA enables you to PLAN AHEAD in case of ill health (eg due to stroke, dementia, Parkinsons disease or viral infection) or because of accident or general old age.
It is completely separate to a will and operates only during your lifetime. It comes to an end upon your death.
The important thing though is that -
- You are in control . Your Attorney can ONLY act on your behalf WITH YOUR PERMISSION, unless you are unable to give that permission due to severe ill health rendering you unable to give that permission.
- The Attorney MUST always act in your best interest and are legally liable if they do otherwise.
- You can bring the LPA to an end at any time, so long as you have mental capacity.
- Joint Attorneys can be appointed by you to make decisions jointly only (ie they must do things together) or jointly and severally (ie an attorney can do things separately as long as they advise the other attorney what they are doing).
- You can give your attorneys general powers under your LPA, or you can restrict what they can do under it.
Types of Lasting Power of Attorney
There are two types of LPA, namely-
- Financial Decisions LPA- This allows your loved ones to deal with paying bills, liaising with utility providers and financial institutions on your behalf. buying and selling your property and managing your bank accounts and investments.
- Heath and welfare decisions LPA- This deal with decisions about your health and welfare, such as medication issues, liaising with your GP, Social services, hospitals and other care providers and issues such as whether you may need home care visitors or care home placement in the event that more permanent ill health impedes your ability to care for yourself at home.
Risks of not having an LPA
Many people don’t know that their next of kin has NO automatic right in law to manage their spouse’s affairs without having a LPA in place, so having to make decisions on their behalf can become prolonged and significantly more expensive.
If you are a sole trader or small business owner what would happen to your business if you lost the ability to deal with your business affairs and make decisions?
If you lose mental capacity without an LPA in place, a spouse or family must apply to the Court of Protection (C of P) to have a Deputy appointed to deal with your everyday financial matters. This is a very expensive and slow process, is complex and unfortunately involves a substantial delay in having the matter resolved by the C of P. If you use a solicitor to assist you then this will cost you a lot more. If you have an LPA in place, this process will not be necessary.
IF you lose mental capacity without an LPA in place access to joint bank accounts, sole financial accounts and assets ( eg ISAs) in your name and the sale of property solely or jointly in your name is prevented or severely restricted without an LPA in place.
Banks may decide whether or not to temporally restrict the use of a bank account to essential transactions only if a joint bank account holder loses mental capacity.
The restricting of a joint account may mean the joint owner cannot freely withdraw what is their own money without an order from the Court of Protection.
These restrictions can cause devastating problems with the care of a person who suffers ill health without an LPA in existence.
For more information on LPA or to make an appointment please email: firstname.lastname@example.org
What does it cost?
Prices shown are inclusive of VAT
Financial decisions LPA
Both Financial decisions and Health and Welfare - single person
Health and Welfare LPA
Both Financial decisions and Health and Welfare - for a couple
*There MAY be additional Guardian office registration fees, but these are means tested.
For more information or a quick chat about Lasting Power of Attorney please feel free to contact us.