Lasting Powers of Attorney
Many people often plan to leave their affairs to those trusted upon death. However, not many of us think about the possibility of an unexpected progressive illness or an accident that could occur during our lifetime that is life changing and results in a loss of mental capacity.
A Lasting Power of Attorney (“LPA”) is a legal document that allows you (“the donor”) to appoint trusted person(s) (“attorneys”) to act on your behalf when you are unable to do so. It provides a solution to the practical issues that arise when you are unable to make decisions yourself and gives you more control over what happens to your affairs at a time when you lack mental capacity.
In order to create a LPA you will need to be over 18 and have mental capacity. There are two different types of LPAs that you can create at any time. Firstly, a “Property and Financial Affairs” power allows your attorney to deal with your bank accounts, to pay the bills, and buying and selling your house. Secondly, a “Heath and Welfare” power allows your attorney to make decisions on medical treatment including life sustaining treatment, where you should live and your daily routine. You can choose to make one type or both.
Before an LPA can be used it must be registered by the Office of the Public Guardian (“OPG”), and a fee paid which is currently £82 for each type although you may be eligible for a fee reduction if your financial circumstances permit. The registration process takes up to 8-10 weeks and so we advise that the application is made as soon as possible. Once the LPA has been registered, the attorney can start to act for you under your direction whilst you still have capacity, or make decisions in your best interests when you lack mental capacity. The “Health and Welfare” power can only be activated in situations where you have lost capacity. You can cancel your LPA at any time but you must have mental capacity to do so.
We at Watkins Solicitors are here to help you prepare these important documents to your individual circumstances. For further information about making a LPA, please contact the Wills & Probate team on 0117 9390 350 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
If you are needing assistance for someone who does not have a LPA and no longer has mental capacity, we can help you in applying to the Court Of Protection for a Deputyship Order. Please contact Lisa Morgan on 01179 390 350 or email email@example.com.
Alternatively, you can complete your enquiry through our online enquiry form.