It is a sad fact of life that some of us will, through ill-health or even a tragic accident, lose our ability to make decisions for ourselves. This can leave loved ones in a very difficult situation, as they may be unable to deal with our finances, our bills, our property and even make vital decisions about our healthcare and personal welfare.
Making a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) means you can name someone you trust to take care of your financial and property affairs for you or make decisions about your health and welfare, should the worst happen.
Appointing an Attorney before you actually need one gives you the peace of mind of knowing that your affairs will be managed how you want them to be. It is not possible to make an LPA once you are unable to make your own decisions, so if you think you might benefit from an LPA in the future, it is something that you should consider putting in place as soon as possible.
Some people are worried about making an LPA as they think that, once it is made, they immediately lose control of their affairs. Please be assured that an LPA is purely a precautionary measure – as long as you retain mental capacity, you continue to remain in control.
Book an appointment today to and ensure your affairs are in order
Thinking about making a Lasting Power of Attorney? Please get in touch with our team who will be happy to help.
We are also able to arrange home and hospital visits at no extra cost (subject to location) for clients with a disability or who would otherwise be unable to attend our offices.
Types of LPAs we can help with
There are different types of LPA available to you, depending on which area of your life you would like your Attorney to take care of.
Property & Financial LPA
This gives your Attorney the authority to deal with matters such as paying your debts, dealing with your tax affairs and welfare benefits, dealing with your bank accounts, buying or selling a property on your behalf, making investment decisions and, any involvement you may have in legal proceedings.
Health & Welfare LPA
This gives your Attorney authority to make decisions about things like where you live, your day-to-day care, including what you wear and what you eat, your healthcare and medical treatment (including the ability to consent to or decline life-sustaining treatment), what contact, if any, you should have with certain other people, and access to your personal information.
You can make an LPA which deals with all aspects of your personal welfare, or only certain things.
If you run your own business or are a key stakeholder in a company, it could seriously harm your business if you were ever to lose the capacity to make decisions. A Business LPA (BLPA) allows you to nominate someone (or several people) to make key business decisions for you if you ever lose capacity in future.
A BPLA is essentially a specific type of Property and Financial Affairs LPA created to deal with your business affairs. It is important to carefully consider who you would trust to make business decisions on your behalf, including who has the necessary knowledge and judgement to make those decisions effectively.
Find out more about Business Lasting Powers of Attorney.
How we help you with making a Lasting Power of Attorney
Here at hpjv solicitors, we can help you with all aspects of creating a professionally made LPA – from choosing an attorney and helping you decide what type of LPA is right for you, to correctly registering the LPA with the Office of the Public Guardian to ensure it becomes legally valid.
It may be that you have a close relative or friend whom you feel would benefit from an LPA. Again, our professional team can help guide them through all aspects of creating this important document.
Please remember, whether it is you or a relative or a friend who may be interested in making an LPA, it must be made while you, or they, are still able to make informed decisions. If there are any doubts about capacity, we can advise on a professional assessment if needs be.
Lasting Power of Attorney FAQs
Do I need a Lasting Power of Attorney?
An LPA is a precautionary measure that is worth considering for anyone. Common reasons for making an LPA include where:
- You have been diagnosed with a potentially debilitating illness
- There is a family history of dementia or another disease that could affect your mental capacity in the future
- Your job is risky e.g. the armed forces, emergency services, professional sports and you wish to plan against the possibility of serious injury
- You have a business or significant assets that would be need to be managed effectively should you ever lose the ability to do so
Who can I appoint as an Attorney to look after my affairs?
You can appoint anyone, whether that be a family member or a friend, whom you trust absolutely and whom you feel has the experience and ability to manage your affairs and will make all decisions in your best interests. If you want to, you can appoint more than one person.
It is important to note, however, that your Attorney cannot make a Will on your behalf. If you have not already made a Will, then you should also consider this now.
One of the biggest advantages of having an LPA is that you know that a person of your choosing has been appointed to take care of your affairs. If you were to lose capacity without having made an LPA, that choice would be made by a Court, and, the person appointed will not necessarily be the person you would have chosen.
How long does it take to get a Lasting Power of Attorney?
An LPA application can normally be drafted and prepared for signature within 3 weeks. The LPA will then need to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian whose current timescales are 20 - 24 weeks.
What happens if you don’t make an LPA?
Where a person becomes incapable of making their own decisions without having made an LPA, their assets are frozen until the Court of Protection has appointed a 'Deputy' to look after them. This can be a lengthy process, and in the meantime, bills can remain unpaid and important decisions put on hold.
What are the differences between an LPA and a Court of Protection Deputyship?
There are several key differences between LPAs and Court of Protection Deputyships, including:
- With an LPA, you choose who will act as your Attorney. With a Court of Protection Deputyship, you have no control over who acts for you.
- The process for applying for an LPA is much simpler than for a Deputyship.
- Getting an LPA is much faster, typically taking around 6 months, compared to 9-12 months for a Deputyship application.
- Deputyship is much more expensive, costing around 5 times as much as for an LPA with an annual supervision fee to pay as well.
- A Deputyship appointment (unlike an LPA) carries significant administrative duties including annual reporting, tax returns and annual preparation of an Office of Public Guardian report.
- Your Attorney’s powers under an LPA give full discretion to do what is necessary to look after your affairs – a Deputy must sometimes apply to the Court to take steps on your behalf and, each time, a court fee is payable.
I have an Enduring Power of Attorney, can I still use this?
Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPAs) were replaced by LPAs on 1 October 2007, however, if you have an EPA drawn up before this date, you can still register it and the named attorneys can still act for the donor under the terms of the EPA.
How long does a Lasting Power of Attorney last?
Once an LPA has been made, the person who created it (the ‘donor’) can cancel it at any time while they still have mental capacity. Once the donor is considered to have lost mental capacity, an LPA can only be cancelled by a court and will otherwise remain in effect until the donor dies.
Can you challenge a Lasting Power of Attorney?
If you believe that an LPA was made at a point when the donor lacked mental capacity or you have concerns over the conduct of someone acting under an LPA, you can potentially apply to the Court of Protection to have the Lasting Power of Attorney cancelled.
In many cases, LPA disputes can be resolved amicably without the need to involve the Court through negotiation, mediation and other non-confrontational alternatives.
How much will it cost for me to make a LPA?
One type of LPA will cost £450 (exclusive of VAT) and there is a registration fee payable to the Office of the Public Guardian of £82. No charge is made for storage of your LPA.
Both types of LPA will cost £800 (exclusive of VAT) and there is a registration fee payable to the Office of the Public Guardian of £82 per LPA. No charge is made for storage of your LPAs.