What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
There are two differing forms of Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA):
- Property and Financial Affairs LPA: In this incident, the Donor chooses an Attorney whom they know and trust to make decisions regarding their assets, property or financial affairs. Your attorney will then be able to look after your property and financial affairs while you still have mental capacity, as well as in the possible event you lack the mental capacity. For example, it could be easier for you to give someone else the power to pay your bills or collect your state benefits or other forms of income.
- Health and Welfare LPA: In this case, the Attorney is able to decide regarding the Donor’s future health and welfare, should they lack the mental or physical capacity to make decisions.
Can I choose when my Lasting Power of Attorney can be used?
You can choose to make a Lasting Power of Attorney any time before you lose mental capacity or can opt for it to come into effect at the time when you are unable to deal with your own wellbeing. This could be because of a certain illness or disability.
It is completely your choice as to whether you want your Lasting Power of Attorney to be used before or after you lose the ability to make decisions for yourself. Our Lasting Power of Attorney solicitors are simply there to help guide you through the process and advise you on the best possible way to move forward.
Important things to know before making a Lasting Power of Attorney
- A Lasting Power of Attorney must be made while you, or the person in question, are still capable of making decisions for yourself.
- There are separate forms for health and welfare attorneys and property and financial affairs attorneys. This means that if you require both, then the two forms will need to be completed at a time when you are able to make decisions for yourself. It is also important to know that these forms do not need to be completed at the same time.
- As well as this, the person who is named as the attorney can still register the power of attorney at any time.
- If you have completed an LPA form, you do not have to register straight away and can instead do it at a time convenient to you.
- You can request that certain people of your choosing are notified once your Lasting Power of Attorney has been registered. This is especially helpful if you are feeling under pressure by the process and can also help protect against any fraudulent activity.
- You must make sure that your forms are filled out correctly and that they are registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.
- Finally, there are some ways in which a Lasting Power of Attorney can end. The attorney can choose to no longer act as the attorney and, if they are still capable of making their own decisions, the person who made the Lasting Power of Attorney can cancel it.
LPAs and modern life
The importance of LPAs has never been so great and thousands of families in the UK each year endure bureaucratic nightmares simply because of being unprepared
For instance, there has been a huge surge in the number of people in the UK living with dementia, and this is expected to grow. The Alzheimer’s Society has said that figures of dementia sufferers are expected to top a million in the next decade even though currently only 44% of people with dementia in the UK are ever diagnosed. This means that the publicity of LPAs needs to be highlighted by all responsible law firms.
Our legal team will advise you on which LPA is most appropriate for you, and guide you carefully through the whole process from start to finish.
Please remember that we wish to emphasise that once a Lasting Power of Attorney is in place it does not mean the donor can no longer make decisions for themselves. They can continue as before and the appointed attorney is there just in case.
We provide a bespoke high-quality professional service. It is therefore important that we see our clients in person both at the start of the case and from time to time thereafter. Due to logistical and time constraints for both clients and ourselves, as a general rule most of our clients are based in the North West including Cumbria and the Peak District, North Wales, South and West Yorkshire and Staffordshire.