How to get Power of Attorney
You can prepare an LPA online yourself. The forms required for this are available from the Office of the Public Guardian's (OPG) website. However, if you would like to receive professional advice and for our solicitors to prepare the LPA, then you do not have to download any forms. Instead speak to us and we will arrange an advisory session, the completion of the forms and the certificate provider, followed by registering the LPA with the Office of the Public Guardian.
Until your LPA is registered, your chosen attorney will not be able to use the Power. As registration can take up to 10 weeks, it’s not just recommended to make an LPA, but that you look to register this as soon as possible.
How to get Power of Attorney for an elderly parent with dementia
Being diagnosed with dementia is not the equivalent to losing mental capacity. If a medical professional deems that your parent, grandparent or another elderly loved one still has adequate capacity, they can apply for Power of Attorney the standard way highlighted above. However, in such a case, it is more important than ever that time is of the essence and that proper professional advice is sought.
The difficulty comes when a person loses mental capacity before making a Power of Attorney. At this point, it is no longer possible to make a Power of Attorney, and you will instead have to apply to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship Order. Here, the court will determine if the person requesting deputyship is right to receive it.
We recommend speaking to a law firm about this alternative to Power of Attorney, as it will likely require more preparation and time to arrange correctly.
Where can I get a Power of Attorney form?
You can download the Power of Attorney forms from the Gov.uk website, as well as useful guidance and information about the process.
Can you get a Power of Attorney online?
You can fill out a Power of Attorney online through the Gov.UK website. To do so, you’ll need to create an account to start your LPA, which you can sign in to resume at any time. Once you have filled out the forms online, you will need to print them out and sign them before sending these on to the Office of Public Guardian.
Can you get a Joint Power of Attorney?
It is possible to give Power of Attorney to multiple people at the same time with a Joint Power of Attorney. However, this specifically means that all your chosen attorneys must agree on a decision relating to your finances or well-being, and cannot act separately on your behalf.
If you would like to give your attorneys the ability to make decisions separately, you can set up a ‘Jointly and Severally’ Power of Attorney. It is wise to seek advice if you want to appoint Joint Attorneys or if you own any property jointly.
What if you disagree with another attorney’s decision?
If you are a Joint Power of Attorney and you disagree with the other attorney, you should look to resolve this between you and the donor if they still have mental capacity. If the issue can’t be settled this way, you should seek advice.
Who can witness a Power of Attorney?
There must be at least two witnesses to the signing of a Lasting Power of Attorney who are 18 or over. If you have designated multiple attorneys, they can be a witness for each other’s signature. However, your attorney cannot be a witness for you signing the LPA or sign as the certificate provider. You also can’t witness yourself sign the LPA.
What is a Replacement Attorney?
You might want to assign one or several Replacement Attorneys as part of your document. These will replace your existing attorney if for whatever reason they are unable or not willing to fulfil their responsibilities. You are under no obligation to do this, but it does provide an extra layer of security and saves the expense of establishing a completely new LPA if your attorney needs to change.
How long does it take to get Power of Attorney?
After filling out and sending the relevant forms to the Office of Public Guardian, it typically takes between 8 and 10 weeks to register someone as your attorney. That is why it is advisable to arrange your Power of Attorney long before you lose mental capacity, as until your attorney is registered, they can’t make any decisions on your behalf.
How much does Power of Attorney cost?
The cost of Power of Attorney depends on whether you attempt to go it alone or speak to a solicitor. In all cases there is a court fee which currently stands at £82, unless you are entitled to a discount.
It’s important to note that this fee must be paid for both a Property & Financial Affairs LPA and a Health & Welfare LPA, meaning if you want to register both, the court fee rises to £164.
It isn’t an obligation to contact a specialist Power of Attorney solicitor, but we cannot overemphasise how important this is. Should you one day lose the capacity to make decisions for yourself, this document will outline who will be acting on your behalf for critical decisions.
Seeking this advice helps ensure all parties involved are clear about their roles and responsibilities, and minimises the potential of financial fraud or other forms of abuse. The ramifications of this can be far costlier than the price of reaching out to a law firm for advice about your Power of Attorney, so we advise not taking the risk over your future.
If you paid to register a Power of Attorney in England or Wales between 1st April 2013 and 31st March 2017, you could be owed a refund of up to £54 per LPA registered. Money Saving Expert offers a table of potential refunds on their website.