LPAs for Individuals
Lasting power of attorney solicitors can assist you to ensure that the individual(s) you chose are able to make decisions regarding your finances and health care if you lose the ability to do so in future.
Authority to take this responsibility does not automatically pass to a spouse or next of kin. They need a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) or an order from the Court of Protection to act on your behalf.
It is crucial to put a Lasting Powers of Attorney in place, whilst you have mental capacity to decide who you want to appoint, to give you and your family peace of mind over the most important decisions affecting your life in the future.
What is Lasting Power of Attorney?
The Mental Capacity Act 2005 introduced Lasting Powers of Attorney, which came into effect on 1st October. LPAs replaced the Enduring Power of Attorney as the means by which a person with full mental capacity can appoint others to act on their behalf and manage their affairs should they lose their capacity to do so in the future.
Types of LPAs
There are two different types of Lasting Power of Attorney:
- A Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs, which relates to decisions regarding finances, including selling your property and overseeing your bank account.
- A Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare, which gives the appointed people responsibility for your health and personal welfare, including where you live, daily care, medical treatment and end of life care.
Richard Nelson LLP’s solicitors can advise you and assist you with the preparation and registration of both types of LPA.
LPA application form
A Lasting Power of Attorney must be completed while you have full mental capacity and registered with the Office of The Public Guardian. Someone who knows the individual or who has specialist knowledge, like a solicitor or doctor, must act as a Certificate Provider to confirm that the individual filling out the document had the mental capacity to make the LPA without interference or undue influence from others. Our Lasting Popwer of Attorney Solicitors can act as Certificate providers.
Registration with the Office of The Public Guardian
The completed forms are then either registered immediately with the Office of The Public Guardian (OPG) – a government agency sponsored by the Ministry of Justice – or ‘kept’ until it is needed and registered at a later time. Most LPAs are registered immediately so that they can be used as soon they are needed. We can assist with the registration process.
Registration usually takes between six and eight weeks. By law, the OPG must allow for at least four weeks in which interested parties will be notified and allowed to raise objections. This measure is in place as a safeguard against abuse.
Acting on another’s behalf with an LPA
A fully registered Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney allows the chosen Attorney to make decisions on the behalf of the ‘Donor.’ Before the registration is complete, the chosen Attorney have no powers of any kind. For as long as the individual has capacity, their chosen attorneys can only act with their full consent. The Donor can also revoke their existing LPA should their circumstances change while they have full mental capacity.
A Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney, on the other hand, only ever comes into effect after registration at such a time as the Donor loses their mental capacity.
When to create Lasting Powers of Attorney
Lasting Powers of Attorney are sensible at any stage of life. Many people assume that they are only needed in their later years, but they safeguard against the loss of capacity through illness or injury at any time, regardless of your age.
An LPA provides peace of mind that, no matter what happens throughout your life, your interests will be safeguarded should you become incapacitated for any reason by the person or people that you trust to act as your attorneys.
It is important to remember that by the time an LPA is needed, it is usually too late to set it up, so it’s important not to delay.
Our Lasting Power of Attorney solicitors are also experienced at helping you draft your will. We recommend making a Will at the same time and offer discounted ‘Peace of Mind’ packages for clients who choose to create their Will and LPA’s together.
Speak to our LPA solicitors
Our solicitors are experienced in helping people in all walks of life to create Lasting Powers of Attorney. We can advise you on decisions that are best suited to your needs and circumstances. Get in touch with us today to arrange your free initial consultation.
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