A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that allows you to appoint someone to make decisions for you, or act on your behalf, if you are no longer able to make your own decisions or if you no longer want to make certain decisions yourself.
Whatever your age, it is important to consider your future and plan ahead by setting up an LPA and giving authority to make decisions on your behalf to someone you trust. Being prepared should help to give you and your family peace of mind.
It is possible to set up an LPA in respect of your property and financial affairs or your health and welfare, or both. You can choose to appoint one or more attorneys and replacement attorneys. If you choose to set up both types of LPA, you can appoint the same attorney(s) or different attorney(s) to act for you.
Why have an LPA?
By setting up an LPA, you decide who will make decisions for you if you become unable to make your own decisions. If you lose capacity in the future and do not have LPAs in place, your loved ones may have to consider the more expensive and time-consuming process of applying to the Court of Protection to be appointed as your deputy.
An LPA for financial decisions can be used, with your consent, while you still have mental capacity, or you can state that you only want it to come into force if you lose mental capacity. An LPA for financial decisions can cover things such as:
- buying and selling property
- paying a mortgage
- investing money
- paying bills
- arranging repairs to property
An LPA for health and welfare can only be used once you have lost mental capacity to make your own decisions. This type of LPA covers things like:
- the type of healthcare and treatment you receive
- where you live
- your day-to-day routine
You can restrict the types of decisions your attorney(s) can make, or give them general authority to make decisions for you.
If you’re setting up an LPA for financial matters, your attorney(s) should keep careful records and make sure their money is kept separately from yours.
How to create a Lasting Power of Attorney
Once you have chosen your attorney(s), you will need to complete the relevant documents to appoint them as your attorneys. are a number of requirements which must be met to ensure an LPA is valid and effective, which is why it is important to seek legal advice.
Before it can be used, an LPA must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). The registration process can take up to 12 weeks. Please note that mistakes on an LPA application can delay the registration process and may mean that you incur additional costs.
The registration fees payable to the OPG are currently £82 per LPA, although you may not have to pay the fee if you receive certain means-tested benefits or a low income.
We highly recommend that you consider setting up an LPA. For more information, contact our expert team at Hethertons today.