It is important to ensure you have the correct Lasting Power of Attorney to suit your unique situation. Hopefully, our Frequently Asked Questions page can answer any questions you may have. If not feel free to call us 0808 178 8105 for a no-obligation conversation.
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that enables you to appoint somebody to make decisions on your behalf about your money, property and welfare, either now or at some point in the future. An LPA is registered with the Office of the Public Guardian and only takes effect once it has been registered.
Ultimately everybody is the simple answer, anybody could have an accident or illness that, regardless of age, makes them physically or mentally incapable of looking after their affairs themselves. It could, therefore, be argued that having a Lasting Power of Attorney in place is as important, if not more important than having a Will.
It is a good idea to get a Lasting Power of Attorney set up before you need it. It is much harder and more expensive for somebody to help you with your affairs if you have already lost mental capacity. None of us knows when or if we will lose mental capacity, it could happen at any time such as after an accident or a stroke. It is important to understand that setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney doesn’t mean giving up control.
If you do not have a Lasting Power of Attorney in place and lose mental capacity, an application would need to be made to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship Order for somebody to be able to manage your affairs on your behalf. This is a lengthy process which can take up to a year to complete and could cost more than £3,000. The court will make the final decision as to who is appointed to deal with your affairs and could quite easily not be who you would have wanted it to be.
There are 2 types of Lasting Power of Attorney:
Health & Welfare
This enables you to choose one or more people who can make decisions for you in relation to your health and wellbeing, for example, what treatment you receive and whether you need to move into a care home.
Property & Financial Affairs
This enables you to choose one or more people to manage your property and financial affairs should you no longer either be physically or mentally able to yourself, for example running your bank accounts, dealing with your tax affairs, buying and selling property.
If you have mental capacity, you can make decisions for yourself. The legal definition says that someone who lacks capacity cannot do one or more of the following things:
When considering who you would like to act as your attorney it is important that you choose somebody you trust implicitly to look after your affairs. Typically, people choose members of their family such as their spouse or children, but it is also possible to appoint a professional adviser such as a solicitor.
Ultimately anybody over the age of 18 can be an attorney, although in the case of a Property & Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney the person cannot have been bankrupt.
The responsibilities of an attorney are dependent on the type of Lasting Power of Attorney and any restrictions you may have had included in it, but an attorney must:
An attorney, however, is also limited and there are a number of things that they cannot do:
So long as you still have mental capacity you can cancel your Lasting Power of Attorney. This does, however, need to be done through a formal revocation. It should also be noted that if an Attorney is your spouse or civil partner, a divorce, annulment or dissolution of the marriage or civil partnership will end their appointment as an attorney unless you expressly state otherwise in the Lasting Power of Attorney.
Once you have agreed and signed the final version of the Lasting Power of Attorney with Responsible Estate Planning, we will, as part of our service, register the Lasting Power of Attorney with the Office of The Public Guardian for you.
Contact Responsible Estate Planning and we will talk you through the process, understand your wants and needs and then we can organise this for you. You can contact Responsible Estate Planning either: