Lasting Power of Attorney

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is an arrangement, which can be made by you now, to protect any future decisions relating to financial matters and your personal welfare, if you should become unwilling or unable to make those decisions for yourself.

What will my LPA cover?

There are two separate Lasting Power of Attorney that you can make; one to deal with your property and financial affairs, and one to make decisions regarding your personal welfare (including medical treatment). These documents authorise one or more people chosen by you to make decisions on your behalf. Different people can be chosen for each different LPA. The people you choose are known as Attorneys or Donees. It is your decision whether you make one LPA to cover either Property and Affairs or your Personal Welfare, or choose to do both.

Can someone make an LPA on my behalf?

Only you can instruct solicitors to prepare an LPA for you. Solicitors cannot accept instructions on your behalf. This is because we have to be certain that you have mental capacity, are able to understand and retain information, and fully understand the nature and effect of the LPA. As part of the LPA you are required to have a certificate provided by either someone who has known you for over two years or someone professional who can make judgements about your mental capacity at the time of making the LPA. There are restrictions as to who can provide this certificate, on which we can advise you. You cannot make an LPA if you lack mental capacity.

Who should I choose as my Attorney(s)?

You need to choose your Attorney(s) carefully.  Your Attorney(s) must be someone that you trust completely.  An LPA is a very powerful document.  For example, your Attorney(s) could sell your home in order to pay for your care if you had to go into a nursing home.  Your Attorney(s) could be your spouse and/or one or more of your children or could be a close friend.  You could appoint your legal advisor who would be entitled to charge for all work carried out as your Attorney.

How is my LPA used?

Your LPA cannot be used until it has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG).  Once stamped and returned from the OPG a Property and Affairs LPA becomes valid immediately. A Health and Welfare LPA can only be used however if you lack the mental capacity to make decisions on your own. There are positive and negative sides to registering your LPA’s before you become incapacitated and our experts will be happy to discuss this with you. Most people only want their Attorneys to act if they are unable to do so due to physical or, more usually, mental incapacity.  Our experts will advise you about limiting the scope of your Attorney’s authority and when the LPA is to be used and will explain how your Attorney uses the LPA once you have agreed that he/she should do so.

What happens if I lose mental capacity?

If you do become or start becoming mentally incapable of dealing with your affairs, then you or your Attorney must register the LPA with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG), if this has not already been done.  When you make your LPA you can nominate certain people to be notified of the registration. When an application to register the LPA with the OPG is made, your nominated people will be informed, as well as yourself and your Attorneys. Notification allows you and your nominees an opportunity to object to the registration of the LPA.

Make an enquiry

To discover more about how our lasting power of attorney solicitors can help you, please make a no obligation enquiry by either calling us on 01297 32345 or by making a free online enquiry