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Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)

You can only make an LPA whilst you still have capacity!

If you do not put anything into place and you lose capacity the courts will appoint someone (who may not be your choice) to act for you and it can be expensive (typical cost £825+vat + £400 court fees+ doctor's assessment fee + ongoing costs). It could also take up to 12 months to get sorted which may cause financial hardship.

Lasting Powers of Attorney replaced Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA) on October 1st 2007although EPA's signed before this date will remain valid.

Any individual 18 years old or over can make a LPA but they must have capacity to understand the purpose and effect of the LPA.

A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal process in which you, the donor, give the legal right to one or more people, your attorneys, to manage your financial affairs and /or your personal welfare at a time in the future when you no longer wish to make those decisions or you may lack the mental capacity to make those decisions yourself. You can opt to have the LPA to be used on physical incapacity.

This power has to be registered by the Office of Public Guardianship before it can be used, (Cost £110) and currently takes approximately 12 weeks. There is remission available for persons with low incomes and exemption from this fee for persons on certain means tested benefits.

For this reason we recommend that you register your LPA immediately and have it safely stored till you need it.

The Cost

We charge £250 for the LPA, application to register and notification of all notifiable people, (registration fee to the OPG is extra). This is a very competitive rate. Get some quotes.

The Property and Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney

A Property and Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) allows you to plan ahead by choosing one or more people to make decisions on your behalf regarding your property and financial affairs.

You can appoint a property and affairs Attorney to manage your finances and property whilst you still have capacity as well as when you lack capacity. For example, it may be easier for you to give someone the power to carry out tasks such as paying your bills or collecting your benefits or other income. This might be easier for lots of reasons: you might find it difficult to get about or to talk on the telephone, or you might be out of the country for long periods of time.

You can decide to give your Attorney(s) the power to make decisions about any or all of your property and affairs matters. This could include paying your bills, collecting your benefits or selling your house.

The Personal Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney

A Personal Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) allows you to plan ahead by choosing one or more people to make decisions on your behalf regarding your personal healthcare and welfare. These personal welfare decisions can only be taken by somebody else when you lack the capacity to make them for yourself; for example if you are unconscious or because of the onset of a condition such as dementia.

The Attorney(s) you appoint to make personal welfare decisions will only be able to use this power once the LPA has been registered and provided that you cannot make the required decision for yourself.

You can decide to give your Attorney the power to make decisions about any or all of your personal welfare matters, including healthcare matters. This could involve some significant decisions, such as: giving or refusing consent to particular types of health care, including medical treatment decisions; or whether you continue to live in your own home, perhaps with help and support from social services, or whether residential care would be more appropriate for you.

If you want your Attorney(s) to have the power to make decisions about 'life-sustaining treatment', you have to expressly give your chosen Attorney(s) the power to make such decisions by completeing section 5 of the LPA form.

You can also give your Attorney(s) the power to make decisions about day-to-day aspects of your personal welfare, such as your diet, your dress, or your daily routine. It is up to you which of these decisions you want to allow your Attorney to make.

The following are the different people involved in making an LPA:

Donor
A Donor is someone who makes an LPA appointing an Attorney(s) to make decisions about his/her personal welfare, property and affairs or both.

The Attorney(s)
An Attorney is the person(s) you choose and appoint, using an LPA form, to make decisions on your behalf about either your personal welfare of property and affairs or both. It is an important role and one that the person chosen has to agree to take on. A bankrupt person cannot take on the role of an attorney.

The Replacement Attorney(s)
If an Attorney dies or becomes incapable of acting for the donor the replacement attorney can take their place.

Named person(s) Optional
A named person is someone chosen by the Donor to be notified when an application is made to register their LPA. They have the right to object to the registration of the LPA if they have concerns about the registration. The named person(s) are specified in the LPA form. Selecting people to notify of an application to register is one of the key safeguards to protect you if you make an LPA. There can be upto five named parties to be informed.

Certificate provider
A certificate provider is a person the Donor must select to complete a Part B Certificate in the LPA form. The certificate provider must confirm that the Donor has capacity to make the LPA.

Witness
A witness is someone who signs the LPA form to confirm that they witnessed: the Donor (the person making the LPA) signing and dating the LPA form; or the Attorney(s) (the person appointed by the Donor) signing and dating the LPA form.

Best available advice is to get both Financial and Health and Welfare particularly if residential care is going to be needed.

Further information can be found at the OPG wesite www.publicguardian.gov.uk