Lasting Power of Attorney
Lasting Power of Attorney Guide
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that allows you to appoint one or more people (known as attorneys) to make decisions on your behalf if you are incapacitated or lack mental capacity.
It can be reassuring to know that, if you are unable to make a decision for yourself in the future, a person(s) you choose will make these decisions for you, rather than a stranger, or someone you may not trust.
It also makes things easier for your family as it is expensive, difficult and time-consuming for them to get the authority to act on your behalf when you are not able to give it in an LPA.
With 850,000 people in the UK suffering from dementia, and more than 50 million people with dementia worldwide, making an LPA is very sensible forward planning in the event the worst should happen and you lose capacity to manage your personal or business affairs. The number of under 65s with early-onset dementia is also increasing, so creating an LPA should not just be considered for the older generation.
Types of Lasting Power of Attorney
There are two types of LPA:
Property and Finance LPA enables you to appoint someone you trust to help you manage your financial affairs, such as paying bills, arranging repairs to a property, managing your pension or generally helping you with your finances. You can decide when the LPA comes into force, get updates on how much money is spent and restrict the types of financial decisions that can be made. If you only want to use a Property and Finance LPA for a defined period, and you have mental capacity to make that decision, you can end it by making a written statement called a ‘deed of revocation’ and send it to the Office of the Public Guardian.
Health and Welfare LPA only comes into effect if you lose mental capacity, which will be determined by a trained mental capacity assessor. It enables you to set out your wishes in advance and gives the attorney the power to act with regard to consent for medical treatment, care and, for example, choice of accommodation.
Your attorney must follow the Mental Capacity Act when making decisions on your behalf, which means they:
If an attorney fails to follow these rules, the LPA could be cancelled. The Office of the Public Guardian will investigate if an attorney is suspected of taking advantage of the person with dementia and if so, the attorney could be prosecuted.
What we can do for you
It is vital that you have a solicitor explain the different types of LPA to enable you to decide whether one, or both, is right for you to ensure they are drafted with provisions in place to keep you safe and secure. You can arrange an LPA without triggering it for many years to come, giving you and your loved one’s peace of mind that you are prepared.
Our solicitors can:
LPAs need to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian to make them legally enforceable, either by the person making the LPA or alternatively by a named attorney when circumstances arise that the Power of Attorney needs to be used. It can then take between 6-10 weeks for the LPA to be registered by the Office of the Public Guardian.
What if I become incapacitated and do not have an LPA?
If you are unable to deal with your affairs due to a loss of mental cafpacity, and there is no LPA in place, the process of appointing someone in your place (and be your Court appointed Deputy) can be very lengthy and expensive. Appointing an Attorney under an LPA is much cheaper, quicker and gives you and your loved one’s peace of mind for the future.
Contact us today to assist you and ensure that you are following the correct process for setting up an LPA and understand everything properly.
For a confidential discussion about LPAs, please contact our Wills and Probate solicitors who will be happy to explain the different type of LPAs and help you decide what is best for you. We work with clients in Luton, Dunstable and surrounding areas in Bedfordshire.
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