Lasting Powers of Attorney Explained
A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document which allows you to name one or more people you trust (known as your Attorney/s) to manage your affairs should you become unable to make decisions for yourself.
We understand that thinking about this can be difficult. But having a plan in place can provide peace of mind and give you more control in the long run.
After all, you never know when the day may come that you’re unable to make an important decision. While illnesses such as dementia can sometimes allow some time for you to plan ahead, that’s not the case if you’re impaired after a stroke or seriously injured in a car accident.
However, putting Lasting Powers of Attorney in place means you are prepared for the worst, so the people you trust (your Attorney/s) are in a position to make the right decisions on your behalf.
Types of Lasting Power of Attorney
There are two different types of Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), one for Property and Finances and one for Health and Welfare.
It’s easiest and best to put both LPAs in place at the same time because if you only put one in place, your Attorneys won’t be able to make decisions covered by the other one.
An LPA for Property and Finances covers areas such as:
- Managing a bank account
- Paying bills
- Collecting benefits or a pension
- Selling your home
An LPA for Health and Welfare covers areas including:
- Your daily routine (such as washing, dressing and eating)
- Medical care
- Moving into a care home
- Decisions regarding life sustaining treatment
LPAs for property and finances can be used as soon as they’re registered if you wish. However, LPAs for health and welfare can only be used when the person who has made the document is no longer able to make these decisions for themselves.
Since the two types of LPAs are very different, you have the option of appointing certain Attorneys for one LPA and different Attorneys for the other.
How Much Does a Lasting Power of Attorney Cost?
Once the application forms are completed, a registration fee of £82 for each LPA needs to be paid to the Office of the Public Guardian, the government body that registers and keeps a record of LPAs. In some circumstances, the registration fee can be reduced, for example if you’re on certain benefits or if you’re earning less than £12,000 a year.
If you’re receiving legal advice to assist you with drawing up an LPA, you’ll also be required to pay Solicitors’ fees.
Do I Need a Solicitor to Help with LPA Forms?
No, you don’t. But many people still prefer to have a Solicitor assist them with preparing and registering the LPAs, as the forms are quite long. The forms also ask various questions, so it’s well worth having a Solicitor explain your various options so you get the outcome you want.
The Lasting Powers of Attorney registration process can also be lengthy, so having a Solicitor’s help can ensure there are no issues, and you can have an expert dealing with all the paperwork on your behalf.
Can I Change My Mind?
Yes. An LPA shouldn’t feel as if you’re signing your life away, so as long as you still have capacity to make decisions for yourself, you can change or end one or both LPAs whenever you wish. For instance, you might wish to remove one of your Attorneys or appoint a new Attorney.
LPAs are designed to be as flexible as possible to help you plan for the future effectively. This flexibility means you can ensure your Lasting Powers of Attorney are fit for purpose if the day comes that you’re no longer able to make decisions for yourself.
Our Wills and Trusts Solicitors can provide you with detailed advice about Lasting Powers of Attorney, so get in touch and we’ll be happy to help you.
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