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A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is an official legal document allowing you to appoint one or more people (your attorneys) to make decisions on your behalf if you become unable to do so either through the loss of mental or physical capacity.
There are two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney, one that deals with your property and financial affairs and one that allows your attorneys to look after your welfare and health decisions.
This LPA gives your attorneys the authority to make decisions on your behalf on how to spend your money and how your property and affairs are managed. They will also be able to pay bills for you and collect your income as well as giving them the ability to legally buy or sell your property and manage your bank accounts and investments. Once this document is registered it can be used straight away by your attorneys unless you have put a specific restriction in place within the document.
The Health and Welfare LPA gives your attorneys the authority to make decisions about your personal welfare and healthcare if you have lost mental capacity. They would be able to make decisions about where you live, the type of healthcare and medical treatment you receive and whether you should or shouldn’t receive life sustaining treatment.
We offer a free first meeting to understand the details of your case and discuss potential routes forward. Before progressing with your case we will always provide a transparent view of costs. In many cases, we’re able to offer a fixed price upfront for our services.
Why should I have an LPA?
If you do not have sufficient capacity to make decisions it can cause a lot of upset, distress and unnecessary hassle for your family as they will likely have to make an application to the Court of Protection for an order appointing them to act on your behalf as your deputy. This application is very time consuming and costly in comparison to an LPA.
Who can I appoint as my Attorney?
You can appoint one or more people to be your attorneys but the most important consideration when deciding on your attorneys is that they must be people you trust. An LPA is a very powerful document so the people you choose must be responsible, trustworthy and be willing to take on the role. An attorney must be over the age of 18 and can be a family member, friend or professional such as a Solicitor, Accountant or Financial Advisor.
When can my attorneys use an LPA?
An LPA can only be used when you have signed your LPA in the presence of a witness who must be suitably qualified to confirm that you fully understand the LPA, the nature of it and the powers it gives your attorneys. They must also be satisfied that you have not been put under any undue pressure into creating the LPA. The LPA must then be signed by your attorneys and then registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. Once a Property and Finances LPA has been registered it can be used straight away even if you still have mental capacity. A Health and Welfare LPA can only be used if you lack mental capacity to make welfare or medical decisions yourself.
I have an Enduring Power of Attorney, are these still valid?
LPAs replaced Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA) from 1st October 2007, although any EPAs made before that date are still effective and can still be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian for use by your attorneys.
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