A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that grants a person or people the power to make decisions on another person’s behalf. Having an LPA will save the family a lot of time and stress in the event of loss of capacity. If capacity is lost without any LPA in place, family and friends would need to apply for a Deputyship which takes significantly longer than registering an LPA.
Unfortunately, capacity could be lost at any time making the need for an LPA ever more important. Whilst it can be quite distressing having to think about what would happen if you did lose capacity, having an LPA arranged prior to this will give you peace of mind knowing that in the event of a loss of capacity, your decisions can be made on your behalf by the people you trust to do so.
There are two types of LPA, both of which must be made when the donor has capacity in preparation for if they lose capacity. The first type is the Property and Affairs LPA which covers decisions about the donor’s financial affairs and their property. The attorneys can use this both before and after the donor loses capacity. The second type of LPA is the Health and Welfare LPA. This covers decisions about the donor’s personal welfare and health, and can only come into effect after the donor has lost capacity.
So who should you choose as an Attorney? You can have one or more people appointed as attorneys, and these can be replaced should any become unable to act on your behalf. If they are over the age of 18 and have mental capacity, then they can be appointed. It is a very personal decision when it comes to appointing an Attorney, as it needs to be someone that the donor trusts completely. Often this means appointing either a spouse or partner, however this is not always practical and in such cases a professional attorney can be appointed. This will bring added costs as professional attorneys may charge fees.
An LPA isn’t valid until it has been sent to the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) to be registered. There is a registration of £110 per document.
We also have a handy video on LPAs on our YouTube channel: https://youtu.be/LkeWMpjUq80
For more information contact the Society of Will Writers or an SWW member.