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Lasting Power of Attorney

Why you should make a lasting power of attorney (an LPA)

4 min read
Power of attorny responsibilities

Why you should make a lasting power of attorney (an LPA)

Alzheimer’s Research UK has predicted that the number of people with Dementia is predicted to rise to over 1.1 million by 2030. Add to this other mental incapacity issues such as strokes, brain injury and psychosis.

Whenever someone is diagnosed with a condition that will lead to mental incapacity it is always a very difficult time for everyone involved. For this reason, it is best to prepare for the future as soon as possible and not wait for the situation to arise. The best way to plan is to have Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) in place to ensure that the person or persons that you choose can take care of you appropriately when the time comes and to minimise any complications.

What is an LPA?

LPAs are legal documents that allow a person to appoint someone to make decisions on their behalf when they no longer have the capacity to do so themselves. The person making the application is the ‘donor’ and the person appointed to make decisions on their behalf are called ‘attorneys’.

A donor can appoint up to 4 attorneys, and they can act jointly (as in they all have to sign for everything) or jointly and severally (as in they each have the individual right to sign).

It is also an option to appoint replacement attorneys in case your appointed attorneys are unable to carry out their duties for whatever reason. Examples include if your chosen attorney loses capacity or they pass away.

Types of LPA:

There are two types of LPA; property and financial affairs and health and welfare.

A property and financial affairs LPA allow your attorney to manage your financial affairs. This would involve making decisions about your finances or any properties. For example, your attorney could make decisions about selling your home on your behalf or paying any of your utility bills.

A health and welfare LPA allows your attorney to make decisions about your day to day care which could include medical care, about your day to day routine or where you should live.

A health and welfare LPA can only be used if you lose capacity while a property and financial affairs LPA has the option of being used while the donor has capacity, although they need to specify this when setting it up.

How do you make an LPA?

Making an LPA involves filling in the required forms. There is a separate form for each type of LPA. The forms will need to be signed by the donors, each attorney and replacement attorney, and also a certificate provider who signs to confirm that a donor has mental capacity and is not being pressured to make the LPA. A certificate provider must be an independent person over the age of 18 who knows the donor well for at least 2 years, or a professional such as a solicitor or GP. Once the forms are completed they are sent to the Office of the Public Guardian for registration.

However, making an LPA is so much more than form filling. Especially a form that an attorney or a family member has prepared for you. It is your LPA, and you need to think about it from all angles. There are some angles that you may have not even considered.

How can a solicitor help?

Our team at Giles Wilson can support you through the process of making an LPA by advising you on your choices and providing you with further information to make the right decisions for you. There are implications for attorneys.

The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) can be very particular in the way it looks at applications, often rejecting them due to errors in drafting. Our solicitors can ensure that your LPA is correctly drafted according to the OPG requirements and protects you in the way it should.

Furthermore, we can assess your situation and ensure that you are not being influenced or even coerced into making an LPA by your attorneys, who would have control over your finances and every day welfare. You can instruct us to be your certificate provider for this reason, as we will only sign the LPAs once we are satisfied that you have sound capacity and are not being coerced by any individual. Therefore, if you require our assistance to get your LPAs in place, please do get in touch as soon as possible.

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