Why do I need a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)?
You never know what might happen. If due to accident or illness you lose mental capacity it is too late to make a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). Your relatives will have to go to the court to get a Duputyship. This is much more complicated and expensive.
If there is an LPA in place the people you have chosen can continue to run your affairs, pay bills and so on.
So what is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
An LPA is a legal document that allows someone (called the Donor) to choose who they want to make decisions on their behalf if they lack mental capacity to make the decisions themselves. The LPA must be completed when the Donor has mental capacity. It is only used if the Donor subsequently loses mental capacity.
Types of LPA
Health and Welfare
Health and Welfare LPA appoints an attorney to make decisions such as:
- medical treatment
- accepting or refusing types of health care
- whether the Donor continues to live at home or moves into residential care
The Donor can also give the attorney power to make decisions about ‘life-sustaining treatment’.
Property and Financial Affairs
A Property and Financial Affairs LPA appoints someone to make decisions such as:
- paying the Donor’s bills
- collecting the Donor’s benefits
- selling the Donor’s house
The duties of an attorney
The attorney is able to make important decisions on behalf of the Donor. The attorney must:
- make decisions in the best interests of the Donor
- obey any restrictions in the LPA
- keep the Donor’s affairs confidential
- make sure their decisions benefit the Donor and not them
If the attorney does not perform their duties properly they can be made to pay for any losses the Donor has suffered.
Mistreating or purposely neglecting someone who lacks capacity is a criminal offence.
When the attorney can start acting on the donor’s behalf
The person appointed as an attorney can only make decisions when:
- the LPA has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian; and
- the Donor lacks capacity to make the decisions for him or herself
Why it is a good idea to make LPA’s
They allow the Donors to plan in advance, so that if a time comes when they are no longer able to manage their own affairs, someone they trust and they have appointed can step into their shoes.
If someone lacks mental capacity it is too late to make an LPA. The person’s affairs may become frozen, and the only solution is to apply to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship. The process is very lengthy and the subsequent monitoring is far more extensive and burdensome.
What does a Lasting Power of Attorney cost?
We will agree a fee with you before you instruct us. The following are examples of our charges:
|Shared Service*||Full Service*|
|Single||P&F or H&W
P&F and H&W
|Couple||P&F or H&W
P&F and H&W
There is also a fee charged by the Office of the Public Guardian for each LPA of £110
*Shared Service: We will meet you or take full instructions by telephone, advise you on how to set up the LPA, generate the forms and if appropriate complete the certificate to confirm you understand the LPA. However, you will be responsible for collecting your attorney’s signatures, notifying the person to be told and submitting the forms to the Office of the Public Guardian.
*Full Service: We will manage the entire process. We generate the forms, inform all the attorneys and collect their signatures, notify the person to be told, and register the LPA(s) with the OPG.
(P&F: Property and Financial Affairs. H&W: Health and Welfare.)
**All prices include VAT**