How to Make Lasting Powers of Attorney in Lockdown
The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) have reminded the public that you can still make Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) in England and Wales, even in lockdown.
A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document that gives someone (your Attorney) the ability to make decisions for you if you can no longer make them for yourself. It has to be signed and witnessed in person by several people, which might seem worrying in the midst of the Coronavirus pandemic.
But don’t worry. The government have released guidance on witnessing and signing an LPA under coronavirus restrictions, advising you to maintain social distancing through the whole process to keep you and your family safe.
Our Advice on LPAs in Lockdown
Our Wills and Trusts Solicitors also recommend that you:
- Plan ahead and choose a date that you know all of your witnesses and Attorney can make
- Witness and sign the LPA outside, if you can
- Bring your own pens, as all witnesses and Attorneys will need to sign the same document
- Bring hand sanitizer or wash your hands right after signing the document
- Make sure you can clearly see the person signing the LPA (also called the Doner) if you’re a witness, even from 2 metres away, as well as see the document before and after they sign it
- Do as much as you can online when making your LPA, before having to print and sign it
We know that making an LPA in lockdown won’t be ideal for your family, but it’s a really important document that will protect you and your loved ones should you ever lose mental capacity.
And as the OPG are experiencing delays because of the effects of coronavirus, making an LPA as soon as you can will mean it will be ready to use if and when you need it.
Our team of Wills and Trusts Solicitors can help you make your LPA today, and answer any questions you have about signing an LPA in these uncertain times.
How to Make a Lasting Power of Attorney
- First you need to decide which kind of LPA you would like:
- Health and Welfare LPA - this gives your Attorney the power to make decisions about your healthcare and personal welfare and can only be used if you lack mental capacity
- Property and Finances LPA – this gives your Attorney the power to make decisions about all your financials affairs and property and can be used whenever you like after it’s registered with the OPG.
It’s best to get both LPAs at the same time as this will cover all bases. You will need to send separate applications for each kind of LPA and may find it easier to apply online while in lockdown.
- Next you will need to choose who you want to be your Attorney. This is a very important decision because this person will be taking on a lot of responsibility should you ever lose mental capacity.
- You can either request an LPA pack from the gov.uk website or make an LPA online and then print the documents off to sign and send to the OPG to be registered. One of our Wills and Trusts Solicitors can help you with this as the forms are long and can be quite complicated.
Making your Lasting Power of Attorney online might be quicker because of the delays at the Office of Public Guardian. But it’s important to remember that you’ll still need to print off the final forms to sign in person.
Speak to a Wills and Trusts Specialist
Our Wills and Trusts team are experts at helping people with Lasting Powers of Attorney.
The forms used to make an LPA can be long and may ask you questions that you didn’t expect. And while you don’t have to use a Solicitor, there are lawyer symbols throughout the LPA forms to show where you might benefit from getting legal advice.
An LPA is a very important document, so we can help to make sure it is error free when you register it. This will mean you’ll get it right the first time and won’t risk having to pay another £82 to register it with the OPG.
If you’re thinking about making an LPA, speak to one of our Wills and Trusts Solicitors for expert legal advice today.
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