A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) allows you to give a trusted family member, friend or professional advisor the power to make decisions for you if you lose the capacity to make those decisions for yourself.
You can set up an LPA in respect of your property and financial affairs or your personal health and welfare, or both. In either case, you can appoint one or more attorneys and replacement attorneys.
Why have one?
An LPA in respect of your property and financial affairs can be used while you still have mental capacity or you can state that you only want it to come into force if you lose mental capacity. It can cover things such as:
- buying and selling property
- your mortgage
- your investments
- ensuring your bills are paid
- ensuring maintenance to your property is carried out.
Meanwhile, an LPA in respect of your health and welfare can cover things such as:
- daily routine, for example washing, dressing and eating
- medical care
- where you live.
An LPA for health and welfare can also involve financial decisions that affect your quality of life, such as costs of clothing, hairdressing, extra support or care, and decorating or furnishing costs.
How to make a Lasting Power of Attorney
Once you have chosen one or more attorneys you will need to complete the documentation to appoint them to the role. You can choose to either fill out paper forms or submit an application online. The process must be completed properly and witnessed.
The LPA must then be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG), a process which takes up to 10 weeks.
Registering an LPA currently costs £82, although you may not have to pay the fee if you’re on means-tested benefits or a low income.
There are a number of requirements which must be met to ensure an LPA is validly made and brought into effect, which is why it is important to seek legal advice. Mistakes on an LPA application can delay the process and mean that you incur additional costs. The friendly team at Palmers are experts in handling LPAs and ensuring they are filed correctly.
At Palmers Solicitors we recommend that you consider drawing up an LPA for your financial affairs and one for your personal welfare.
Contact our specialist team now for further information on either of these.