What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
The two types of Lasting Power of Attorney
A Lasting Power of Attorney, or LPA, allows the “donor” to nominate someone they trust, the attorney, to take care of their affairs once they are no longer in a position to do so themselves.
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney available:
(i) A Personal Welfare LPA
(ii) A Property and Affairs LPA
The first gives the attorney the right to make decisions concerning the donor’s health and welfare, such as medical treatment or day to day care, once they are no longer able to make these decisions for themselves. The second allows the attorney to look after the donor’s financial affairs and property. For example the attorney will be able to pay bills or receive benefits on the donor’s behalf.
Who can prepare an LPA?
Although you can prepared an LPA yourself we would recommend that specialist legal advice is taken. A solicitor is probably best placed to discuss the pros and cons of setting up an LPA with you. You can also contact the Office of the Public Guardian for guidance. Our solicitors will ensure that all formalities are carried out and will talk you through the paperwork. They can act as the “Certificate Provider” and complete the section of the LPA form confirming that you, as the donor, understand what you are doing and are not being influenced by a third party.
We will ask for names of family or friends who you want to be notified as soon as an application is made to register the LPA – these people are referred to as “Named Persons”.
We can also offer guidance on avoiding the risk of financial abuse which is often associated with LPAs, and where appropriate we can act as a professional attorney as an extra safeguard.
Can an LPA be revoked?
Yes. If you still have mental capacity then you have the right to cancel the LPA. Other instances in which the LPA can be revoked are:
(i) If either you or the attorney becomes bankrupt then this will revoke a Property and Affairs LPA (though not a Personal Welfare LPA)
(ii) If the attorney dies and there is no replacement attorney.
(iii) If the attorney refuses to act.
(iv) If your spouse is the attorney and the marriage is ended by divorce.
(v) If the attorney does not have the mental capacity to take up the appointment.
What are the benefits of an LPA?
A Lasting Power of Attorney enables the donor to nominate someone they can trust and rely on, who will be best placed to look after them and their affairs should a time come when they are not capable of managing themselves. By making an LPA so many of the problems that can arise when someone does not plan ahead can be avoided.
In another article that you can read here, we highlight how an LPA can also enable tax savings to be made.
How we can help
If you would like to make a Lasting Power of Attorney then give us a call on 0333 888 0404 or send us an email and we will provide you with a detailed estimate of the legal costs.
For more information about Lasting Powers of Attorney you can visit our dedicated sister site, www.courtofprotectionlawyers.co.uk