The team at 4 Probate & Wills are here to help when you need to make Lasting Powers of Attorney, or LPAs as they are known. These legal documents appoint people you trust, such as family members or close friends, to help make decisions with you or on your behalf when you are unable to do so yourself.
When would I need an LPA?
LPAs are vital if you ever lose your mental capacity, either temporarily or permanently. Creating a Lasting Power of Attorney, which is separate from your Will, allows you to appoint trusted people to help you manage your financial affairs and personal health and welfare. In some circumstances if you choose not to appoint an Attorney and you lose capacity, the Council may appoint one for you as a Deputy.
You must put these documents in place when you don't need them. Waiting until they are required, may be too late.
Is LPA completely necessary?
The laws around data protection have changed the way that people can help you with your personal affairs, including the following:
Mortgage holders and landlords
GP and hospital appointments
Decisions about care
It is now much more difficult, and becoming even more so, to assist people with their personal affairs without having the correct legal authority in place. Whether your loved one wants to change your energy provider, order your prescription, ask for your test results or discuss anything that involves confidential information, an LPA needs to be firmly in place.
What about my next of kin?
It’s a common misconception that your spouse, civil partner or adult children automatically have the legal right to manage your affairs. This is unfortunately not the case. Once you become an adult, unless you appoint an Attorney no one has the legal rights to assist with your personal or medical affairs.
It’s never too soon
Putting in place a Lasting Power of Attorney is very important and though it can never be too soon, it can easily become too late. If you were to begin losing your mental capacity, it may not be possible to create an LPA at all.
You can only put an LPA in place whilst you are capable of understanding the nature and effect of doing so. As a result, many of our clients choose to make Lasting Powers of Attorney when they make a Will, as it offers additional peace of mind. However, you can create an LPA once you reach the age of 18 – all you have to do is get in touch with our LPA specialists.
Joint bank accounts
Many people don’t realise that if one joint account holder loses mental capacity, banks and building societies can decide whether or not to temporarily restrict the use of the account to essential transactions only unless there is Lasting Power of Attorney or other suitable arrangement in place.
Know your options
We’re dedicated to helping our clients understand both types of LPA.
One solution for couples is to Mirror (make identical) their Lasting Powers of Attorney. This allows them to appoint each other as Attorneys to help make decisions about each other’s financial affairs if they lose capacity, work away from home or simply don't have the time to look after their finances. They are also best placed to deal with the health and welfare for each other, again should either lose capacity in the future.
If you are single, you may choose a single LPA depending upon your personal situation and preferences.
If you own a business and require a business LPA, we can arrange this with the legal clauses and restrictions to enable your business to continue if you are unable to be there, either permanently or during a period of illness.
LPA registration fee
All LPAs require registration with the Office of the Public Guardian, the fee is currently set at £82 per LPA. These fees can be less if you are on low income or free if you are in receipt of some specific means-tested benefits.
We’re here to help
For more information, take a look at the different types of LPA. When you’re ready to proceed, get in touch using the contact form below and we’ll help you to create Lasting Powers of Attorney to suit your individual needs and preferences.