Why should I make a Lasting Power of Attorney?

Reasons to have Lasting Power of Attorney. Everybody who makes a Will should also make a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). There are actually two types of Lasting Power of Attorney:

Lasting Power of Attorney – Property and Financial Affairs
Lasting Power of Attorney – Health and Welfare

Lasting Power of Attorney – Property and Financial Affairs

Is a document that you sign to appoint somebody to act for you should you for any reason become unable to manage your own financial affairs. If you care enough about what happens to your assets after you die, you ought to care even more about keeping them safe whilst you are alive.

While a Will ensures that your estate is distributed according to your wishes when you die, LPA protects your assets by authorising somebody chosen by you to deal with your affairs on your behalf (should you become unable to manage them yourself) whilst you are alive.

If you do not have an LPA, then if for any reason you suddenly become unable to manage your own affairs, e.g. you suffer an accident and are confined to bed or hospital or suffer a more serious accident which permanently incapacitates you. If you become mentally incapacitated as a result of old age or for some other reason … then the only way that your financial affairs can be managed is by an application (by a relative or other person close to you) to the Court of Protection. This can take up to 10 months and cost in excess of £1200 in costs to the court alone – during which time your finances could be seriously damaged – and the person authorised to handle your affairs on your behalf is not only unlikely to be who you would have chosen, but may even be a Court Official – who can (and will) charge every time he/she acts for you. If you have an LPA, your chosen representatives can act for you straight away if you become unable to handle your own affairs or if you become mentally incapacitated. Note that you must be mentally capable to make an LPA. Therefore – just like a Will – if you don’t have one then by the time you really need one it’s too late.

Reasons to have Lasting Power of Attorney – Will Trust & Protect- Shefford

There are 4 Key Steps to the LPA Process

  • Choose your attorney(s) and all the other people you need to be involved in your LPA, and think about how you want your attorney(s) to make decisions on your behalf.
  • Complete your LPA form with Provider.
  • Keep your LPA until you (or your attorney) need to use it. During this period it cannot be used – and you continue to make decisions yourself.
  • Register your LPA with the OPG so that people can raise any concerns, and so that it can then be used.

LPA is only usable – and your attorney(s) able to make decisions on your behalf – once it has been registered. It is usually best to register your LPA as soon as you have completed the LPA form.

Registration takes at least twelve weeks. If you need your LPA to be used urgently, it cannot be used during the twelve week period. If your attorney needs to make decisions urgently, they will have to apply for a Court order.


Lasting Power of Attorney – Client Information

A lasting power of attorney is a legal document that lets you, (the ‘donor’) appoint people (known as ‘attorneys’) to make decisions on your behalf.

It could be used if you became unable to make your own decisions.

There are 2 types of lasting power of attorney:

  • Health and welfare
  • Property and financial affairs

You can choose to make one type or both.

You must be 18 or over and have mental capacity – the ability to make your own decisions – when you make your lasting power of attorney.


Registering Lasting Power of Attorney

It is important to know that registering Lasting Power of Attorney can not be registered and used immediately and the amount of time you might have to wait can change.

The current waiting time for registering Lasting Power of Attorney is 12 weeks.

The Office of the Public Guardian must check the application to make sure there are no mistakes when applying. This is a legal deed between the Donor & Attorneys chosen and must be correct.

The Office of the Public Guardian charges £110 for registering each Power of Attorney.

An attorney can only use a Lasting Power of Attorney once it has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. A health and welfare Lasting Power of Attorney can only be used once the donor (the person needing help) is unable to make their own decisions.

Please contact us for further information on completing and registering your Lasting Power of Attorney.