Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA’s)

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There can often be a time in your life when you are unable to make decisions regarding your own affairs. This could be as a result of incapacity or frailty and you will need someone you trust implicitly to act for you.

We can find ourselves incapacitated at any time in our lives, due to a sudden accident, illness or injury and it will be essential to have a reliable person (of your choosing), who is able to manage your affairs, removing the stress, at a time when you most need peace of mind.

When we get older, the need for someone to manage our day-to-day tasks and decisions can develop at an alarming rate, as a result of incapacity.

Establishing Lasting Powers of Attorney in advance ensures that if you (The Donor) find yourself unable or unwilling to deal with your affairs, you can be assured that both your property, financial and personal welfare are in safe hands.

Even when we are young, we can find ourselves incapacitated due to a sudden accident or illness and unable to make decisions for ourselves in respect of our property and financial affairs or our health and welfare.”

Find out more about our estate planning services, call 0800 240 4587 or complete the form below.

FAQs – Lasting Powers of Attorney

What happens if I don’t have Lasting Powers of Attorney and then become incapacitated?

Any bank accounts or savings accounts which would, of course, mean standing orders and direct debits to pay bills in your name could be frozen – even if it’s a joint account.

Please note, it is illegal because of data protection for a child or friend to use your pin numbers or sign on your behalf.

Someone (your spouse or adult child, sibling etc) would have to apply for a deputyship order which can take 10 – 12 months and on average around £3,000 in legal fees and on top of that, £500 pa in Court of Protection fees.

But worse still is the intrusion in the lives of those closest to you.

Who do I choose as my Attorney?

You can appoint a friend, relative, or a professional as your Attorney. This allows them to act on your behalf.

It is important that you choose who you would like to act on your behalf very carefully. You should only choose people you can trust absolutely to act in your best interests, considering how they manage their own affairs. It is always a good idea to appoint more than one Attorney to ensure that this power is not abused.

Who is involved with establishing Lasting Powers of Attorney?

You are The Donor – the person granting the LPA and appointing Attorneys.

Your Attorneys are the people you appoint to act on your behalf.

A Certificate Provider must complete an LPA and is a person to confirm that the Donor understands the power and importance of the LPA and is not creating the power under duress. This can be someone with a relevant qualification or a friend who has known them for more than two years.

Anyone the Donor specifies can be notified of the registration of the LPA (up to 5 people), however, if there is no one to notify, then the Donor must have a second Certificate provider. This may be useful if there are any questions surrounding duress or undue influence.

What are the different types of Powers of Attorney?
  • A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) for Property and Financial Affairs
  • A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) for Personal Welfare
  • A General Power of Attorney

Please note these Powers are only applicable to England and Wales

What is a LPA for Property and Financial Affairs?

As the name suggests, you – the Donor of the Lasting Power of Attorney authorise the Attorney(s) to make decisions about your property and financial affairs. The powers extend to all matters concerning your property and affairs. This could include buying property in the Donor’s name, selling property belonging to the Donor, (including the Donor’s home), managing their investments, continue to run their business and making decisions about the payment for The Donor’s healthcare. You can place legally binding restrictions and conditions on the Attorneys’ powers and the scope of authority they have within the LPA.

What is a LPA for Health & Welfare?

A Lasting Power of Attorney for Health & Welfare covers decisions about a Donor’s personal welfare, which can include where they live, how they are cared for and what healthcare they receive, for example, decisions regarding which care home. The payment of care home fees cannot however be made with just the lasting Power for Health and Welfare alone, (which would cover the decision to place the Donor in a home), but in conjunction with a Lasting Power of Property and Affairs (which would cover the decision to pay for the care).

Attorneys of a personal welfare (LPA) can only use this power if the LPA has been registered and the Donor cannot make the decision him/herself.

What is a General Power of Attorney?

A General Power of Attorney allows the Attorney to make decisions and act in any matters relating to the Donor’s property and affairs (with the exceptions of making a Will, making gifts or performing in the Donor’s role as a Personal Representative i.e administrator or Trustee).

It is important to note that the Donor or should the Donor become mentally incapable, then the General Power is automatically revoked.

A General Power of Attorney (GPA) is effective immediately and will remain in force until it is cancelled by the Donor or should the Donor become mentally incapable in which case the General Power is automatically revoked.

Unlike a Lasting Power of Attorney, with a GPA there is no scope for restricting the Attorney’s powers.

A General Power of Attorney can be revoked at any time by either writing cancelled across the document or simply tearing it up.

Can I revoke or cancel the Lasting Powers of Attorney?

The Donor can revoke or cancel the LPA (providing they have the mental capacity to do so). If a spouse or civil partner is the Attorney or Donor, dissolution or annulment of the relationship will automatically revoke the power. An LPA for Property and Affairs is revoked if the Attorney(s) or the Donor are declared bankrupt, however, an LPA for Welfare is not terminated by bankruptcy.

What is The Office of the Public Guardian?

It should be noted that Lasting Powers of Attorney have no legal standing until registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. They can be registered at any time i.e. before the Donor loses mental capacity or when the Attorney believes this to have happened. Once registered they must be used in accordance with the stated conditions, this may include a restriction preventing usage until the Donor lacks mental capacity in this matter.

“Dear Mr Doctors, you are absolutely right about The Office of The Public Guardian and the Lasting Powers of Attorney. I am still shocked to have been misled by the solicitor. Thank you for everything you have done for us”.

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