“More people are taking the vital step to plan for the future by applying for lasting powers of attorney and it is essential to make sure that it is as safe and simple as possible to do so”.
Sophie Bacon, Solicitor, Personal Law, BTMK
Lasting Power of Attorney, known also as an LPA, allows you to appoint someone else, the attorney, to make decisions on your behalf should you lose the mental capacity to make those decisions for yourself.
There are two types of LPA, one to cover finances and property, and one to cover your health and welfare. It’s often the case that older people will apply, choosing a trusted family member or members, or close friend to be responsible for making decisions in the event that it becomes necessary. Attorneys must be over 18.
Lasting Power of Attorney comes into effect if you can’t make decisions, no longer want to make them or lose the mental capacity to decide for yourself. For example, you may need someone to help if you are diagnosed with a condition such as Alzheimer’s and may lose capacity in the future.
An LPA would make sure you’re covered for the future.
You may also need someone to help over a short-term period, for example, you are taken into hospital for a period of time and need someone to help with the bills.
Our professional team are experts at dealing with vulnerable clients and have extensive experience in advising the elderly. For many years we’ve been working with clients of all ages – and often several generations of the same family.
We tailor our advice to your needs, and our aim is to make every step of the way as straightforward and easy as possible for you. This can include advice on asset protection, long term care contracts, Powers of Attorney, Court of Protection issues, making gifts, Wills, Statutory Wills and funeral planning.
Give us a call today for a FREE initial chat with one of our legal experts.
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney – a financial LPA and a health and welfare LPA. You can’t assume that because you are married, or in a civil partnership that you will automatically be given access to deal with a spouse’s affairs. With our advice you can choose, for example, how you want the attorney to act on your behalf, where they have the power to make decisions and how long for.
You can restrict the decisions your attorney can make or have them make all decisions on your behalf. We can look at your personal circumstances and advise you on the course of action that’s right for you.
These can come into effect while you still have capacity, or you can choose your LPA to come into force if you lose mental capacity. They might cover:
Your attorney must keep proper accounts of your finances. You can ask for these to be sent to a solicitor or a family member, as an extra safeguard, should you lose mental capacity.
This covers health and care decisions should you lose mental capacity to make decisions for yourself. This might include:
A Lasting Power of Attorney is a powerful legal document and should be made as straightforward as possible. It should also make you feel reassured that in the event you lose capacity in the future, your wishes are carried out in the way you would choose. Our team can advise you on the restrictions and controls that allow an attorney to carry out your wishes but with your best interests at heart.
Powers of Attorney are registered through the governmental department, the Office of the Public Guardian. The OPG can also offer support for attorneys and investigate complaints about attorneys.
Give us a call today for a FREE initial chat with one of our legal experts.
We are one of the few firms in the region with a dedicated, highly experienced litigation solicitor specialising in Wills, Inheritance and Probate work.
Where we can, we always try and resolve a dispute before making an application to the Court of Protection, but where this isn’t possible, we can use our significant experience of both the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and the Civil Procedure Rules and the Court process to ensure that applications can be made as quickly as possible, recognising that these can be challenging times for families.
We also appreciate that it isn’t always easy for clients to get to us, and if you are unable to attend our offices, we offer home visits.
There isn’t actually a limit on the amount of Attorneys you can have. The number of Attorneys you can have is generally advised to depend on your personal circumstances. But, we would always recommend appointing at least two Attorneys.
Yes, there are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney in England and Wales. Lasting Power of Attorney replaced Enduring Power of Attorney in 2007. Enduring Power of Attorneys that were signed before then are still valid and can be registered. However, the Lasting Power of Attorney is far more flexible. You can have a Lasting Power of Attorney that is related to your financial affairs and property and one that is related to your health and welfare.
An Attorney is only able to make decisions when the Lasting Power of Attorney has been registered at the Office of The Public Guardian. If an Attorney has been appointed under a health and welfare power, they can only make decisions on behalf of the Donor when they no longer have the mental capacity to do so themselves.
Anyone who is over the age of 18 can act as an Attorney. It is common for Donors to appoint close members of their family as their Attorneys.
Your Attorney can only sell your home if it’s in your sole name. If you jointly own your property, then they would have to speak with the other owners. If your Attorney is also a co-owner (for example, your husband or wife), then they cannot sell the house on their own without an appointed Trustee.
It is a database that contains details of all legally registered Lasting Powers of Attorney. Once a Lasting Power of Attorney has been registered, anyone can apply to search the register.
A Lasting Power of Attorney expires when the Donor passes away. The basic logic for this in England and Wales is that the Lasting Power of Attorney enables decisions to be made when someone can no longer make them themselves, but when they die, decision making would also cease to exist. The documents can also be revoked if you no longer want them in place as long as you have mental capacity to do so.
Yes, within the Lasting Power of Power, you can state how you want your Attorney to act on your behalf. For example, you may wish not to give your Attorney authority over some of your property and financial affairs but want them to be able to make decisions about your health and care.
The Office of the Public Guardian is a government organisation that sits within the Mental Capacity Act 2005 framework. It protects the private assets, financial affairs and personal welfare of people who lack the mental capacity that is needed for making decisions.
It is always best that the Lasting Powers of Attorney are put in place as you will not be able to make these if you lose capacity. If you have not made one then your family members would have to make an application to the Court of Protection to obtain a Deputyship Order allowing them to deal with your affairs.
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