Lasting Power of Attorney
Lasting Power of Attorney
Making a Lasting Power of Attorney does not mean that you can no longer make decisions for yourself. The purpose of these documents is so that if you are unable to make decisions in the future, your attorney can make these decisions for you. It does not mean that from the moment you complete the forms your attorney takes over making decisions for you.
Why should I have a Lasting Power of Attorney?
- You never know when you may lose your capacity to sign documents. Losing capacity may occur suddenly as a result of a bad accident or severe illness; or more gradually, as a result of dementia or Alzheimer’s.
- If you do not have a Lasting Power of Attorney and lose mental capacity a deputy will need to be appointed. Applying for a deputyship order is expensive and may result in the wrong person being your deputy for example, a professional person that you do not know, an estranged child or a spouse that you may have separated with.
- By having a Lasting Power of Attorney in place it will be YOU who decides who will deal with your affairs if you lose capacity and you will have more control over when your attorney will take over your affairs
LPA PROPERTY AND FINANCIAL AFFAIRS – £150
LPA HEALTH AND WELFARE – £150
Registration Costs (for completion of the document and posting to the Office of Public Guardian) £20 each document
Please note: The Office of Public Guardian charge £82.00 per LPA for registration (these fees can be levied if you are on certain benefits or have a low income).
The types of Lasting Powers of Attorney
LPA for Property and Financial Affairs
LPA’s can only be used once they have been registered with the Office of Public Guardian
- used for dealing with everyday financial affairs for example collecting benefits, paying bills, investing money, buying or selling property and generally looking after the financial affairs of the donor (you).
LPA for Health and Welfare
- used for care and medical decisions
- gives one or more trusted persons the legal power to make decisions regarding your health and welfare
- your Attorney can make important decisions for example, refusal of medical treatment, where you are cared for and the type of care you receive
There is a strict requirement on the attorneys to act in the best interests of the donor. An LPA does not give the donor any license to do as they please. In terms of gifts, the attorneys can only make usual birthday and Christmas gifts, and possibly anniversary gifts if these are normal for a couple. Any larger gifts require the consent of the Office of the Public Guardian.
The Office of the Public Guardian, which works alongside the Court of Protection, helps to safeguard the best interests of the donor.
WHAT IS THE ALTERNATIVE?…………………………………. A DEPUTYSHIP!!
A deputyship order is necessary if you do lose mental capacity and have not made a Lasting Power of Attorney.
- Less control over who will be your Attorney
- The appointed deputy may be a stranger and this stranger will have the authority to deal with your affairs
- Deputies incur higher court fees and often incur annual fees
- The Court of Protection holds much of the money with deputyships (With a Lasting Power of Attorney Property and Financial Affairs your Attorney will manage your funds)
Lasting Powers of Attorney have to be drafted whilst you have mental capacity. If you do not have an LPA and lose capacity then it is too late and a deputy will have to be appointed.
When you have had your LPA’s drafted they can be stored with your Wills – they do not have to be registered until you lose capacity. At this time, the LPA’s can be registered and at that time the registration costs will be incurred.
An application for deputyship costs £400 plus a bond payment to the OPG based on a percentage of your assets.
The application is decided by the Court of Protection and generally takes 6-9 months. During this time your accounts can not be accessed by your loved ones to pay your liabilities.
Do not leave this until it is too late!