This legal document that lets you appoint one or more people (known as ‘attorneys’) to help you make decisions.
What is a lasting power of attorney (LPA)? It is a legal document that lets you (the ‘donor’) appoint one or more people (known as ‘attorneys’) to help you make decisions or to make decisions on your behalf.
This gives you more control over what happens to you if, for example, you have an accident or an illness and can’t make decisions at the time they need to be made (you ‘lack mental capacity’).
It must be your decision and you must trust your attorney, as you’re giving them extensive powers to make decisions about you and your life.
There are two types of LPA:
1. Property and financial affairs.
2. Health and welfare.
Use this LPA to give an attorney the power to make decisions about money and property for you. This can be used as soon as it is registered, with your permission; even while you still have mental capacity. An attorney can generally make decisions on things such as:
• Buying and selling property.
• Managing a bank or building society account.
• Collecting benefits or a pension.
• Investing money.
• Paying bills including your mortgage.
• Arranging repairs to your property.
Your attorney must keep accurate accounts and make sure their money is kept separate from yours.
You can request updates on your financial affairs including income and expenditure. This offers you an extra layer of protection. If you lose mental capacity, these details can be sent to anyone you nominate including your solicitor or a family member.
Use this LPA to give an attorney the power to make decisions about your health and personal welfare. This LPA can only be used once you have lost mental capacity. An attorney can generally make decisions about things such as:
• Where you live including moving into a care home
• Your medical care including life sustaining treatment
• Your daily routine, for example, dressing, washing and eating
You can restrict or specify the types of decisions your attorney can make or you can allow them to make all decisions on your behalf.
When is a LPA valid?
An LPA is only valid if at the time of making:
• You are 18 or over.
• Have the ability to make your own decisions (mental capacity).
• Made the LPA of your own free will.
A certificate provider must sign the LPA. A certificate provider must be 18 or over, someone who would speak out if anything was wrong and has known you well for at least 2 years or has relevant professional skills and expertise, for example your doctor. They must confirm that you understand the LPA and its implications and you are under no pressure to sign it.
How to set up a LPA
For a fixed fee of £299 per LPA Hatfield Daniels LLP shall visit you in the comfort of your own home, discuss your wishes and gather the relevant information. The LPA(s) shall be drafted in accordance with your instructions and we will ensure that all the necessary signatures are obtained. Should you wish to register your LPA(s) with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG), we shall be delighted to do so on your behalf for a fee of £199 per LPA (Including the OPG fee).
You must register your LPA(s) whilst you have the mental capacity to do so. The LPA can’t be used during the registration process which takes at least four weeks. You can contact the OPG if you need to find out if your LPA(s) has been registered.
If there comes a time in the future when you don’t have the mental capacity to make a particular decision and you haven’t created a valid LPA it may be necessary for the Court of Protection to become involved.
The Court of Protection can:
• Decide whether someone has the mental capacity to make a decision.
• Make an order relating to the personal welfare or property and financial affairs of someone who lacks mental capacity.
• Appoint a deputy to make decisions on behalf of someone who lacks mental capacity.
Someone who wants to make decisions on your behalf can apply to the court to be appointed as a deputy. This may not be the person you wish to make decisions on your behalf.
The role of a deputy is very similar to that of an attorney. The court will consider whether it is necessary for ongoing decisions to be made on your behalf, and whether that person is suitable to be appointed to that role.
You may have an existing EPA; the attorney may apply to act as a deputy in certain circumstances. You can’t choose your deputy and the process of appointing one can be lengthy and costly.
If it is your wish to choose who makes decisions for you, should you no longer be able to do so, then you must have a valid and registered LPA(s) in place.
Lucy T, Telford
Grant Foden, Telford
Deborah Marks, Telford
P Martin, Cannock
Peter Hill, Solihull
Ian & Sue Carvell, Telford
Colin & Sylvia Jones, Telford
Richard Brown, Wolverhampton
Mary & Rob, Telford
Mr & Mrs Shepherd, Telford
J Powell, Shawbirch