A Lasting Power of Attorney is created, to enable someone to act upon the behalf of someone else (the Donor).
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA):
1. The first refers to the Property and Financial Affairs of the Donor. This allows the Donor to appoint a legally authorised person to look after their property and financial affairs. For example: buying and selling of a property; settlement of any bill;, management of existing bank accounts and investments, etc. This LPA is used when the Donor becomes mentally incapable – such as suffering from Alzheimers or Dementia.
Alternatively, the Donor may have decided they no longer wish to deal with their affairs themselves, though still have the mental capacity to do so. For example, the Donor might feel that old age makes dealing with such affairs a strain on their life, despite being fully capable, mentally, of doing so.
2. The second is for the Health and Welfare of the Donor. This allows the Attorney to make medical decisions on behalf of the Donor when they are incapable of dealing with these decisions themselves. If, for example, the Donor was in a coma, a doctor would consult the Attorney to make the medical decisions that were required.
Also, decisions about whether the Donor needs to go into long-term care can be made by the Attorney, who will need to think about the best interests of the Donor.
Lasting Power of Attorney, for both types, must be registered, with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG), to be effective. The OPG check the details, ensure that it is correct and if required, raise any queries.
Typically, the whole registration process takes around three months. There is a statutory period of 6 weeks that must pass before the OPG can register the LPA. This is to allow for any objections. Additionally, if your circumstances or those of your specified attorney(s) change, then you would need to revoke the LPA start again.
As with Wills, Probate and other Estate Planning, it is usually beneficial to seek professional, experienced legal advice, especially if your property, financial and personal circumstances are complicated. If we can help, please get in touch