Lasting Power of Attorney

Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that allows an individual (the donor) to appoint one or more trusted individuals (known as attorneys) to make decisions on their behalf, should they become unable to make decisions for themselves due to mental incapacity or other circumstances.















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There are two types of LPAs in the UK:

 

Property and Financial Affairs LPA

This type of LPA grants the attorney(s) the authority to handle the donor’s financial matters. It may include tasks such as managing bank accounts, paying bills, selling or buying property, and making investment decisions. The donor can choose to grant immediate power or specify that it only becomes effective if they lose mental capacity.

Health and Welfare LPA

This LPA authorises the attorney(s) to make decisions regarding the donor’s personal welfare, including healthcare, medical treatment, living arrangements, and other related matters. This type of LPA only becomes effective if the donor loses mental capacity.

Why do you need a Lasting Power of Attorney?

Capacity and Certification

To create an LPA, the donor must have the mental capacity to understand the nature and implications of the document. An LPA must also be certified by an independent person, such as a solicitor or a registered healthcare professional, to confirm that the donor understands the LPA and is not under any undue pressure to create it.

Attorney Selection

The donor can choose one or more attorneys to act on their behalf. Attorneys should be trusted individuals who have the necessary skills, knowledge, and integrity to make decisions in the donor’s best interests. The donor can also appoint replacement attorneys in case the original attorney(s) are unable or unwilling to act.

Preferences and Instructions

The donor can include preferences and instructions in the LPA, specifying how they want their affairs to be handled. This can include guidance on specific matters or limitations on the attorney’s powers. However, it’s essential to strike a balance between providing guidance and allowing flexibility for the attorney to make decisions based on the donor’s best interests.

Registration

To make an LPA legally valid, it must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). This can be done either when the LPA is created or at a later stage. Registration involves a fee, and there is a waiting period before the LPA becomes effective.

Safeguards and Supervision

The OPG oversees LPAs and has the authority to investigate any concerns or complaints regarding an attorney’s conduct. There are legal safeguards in place to protect the donor’s interests and prevent abuse or misuse of power.

Why do you need a Lasting Power of Attorney?

Capacity and Certification

To create an LPA, the donor must have the mental capacity to understand the nature and implications of the document. An LPA must also be certified by an independent person, such as a solicitor or a registered healthcare professional, to confirm that the donor understands the LPA and is not under any undue pressure to create it.

Attorney Selection

The donor can choose one or more attorneys to act on their behalf. Attorneys should be trusted individuals who have the necessary skills, knowledge, and integrity to make decisions in the donor’s best interests. The donor can also appoint replacement attorneys in case the original attorney(s) are unable or unwilling to act.

Preferences and Instructions

The donor can include preferences and instructions in the LPA, specifying how they want their affairs to be handled. This can include guidance on specific matters or limitations on the attorney’s powers. However, it’s essential to strike a balance between providing guidance and allowing flexibility for the attorney to make decisions based on the donor’s best interests.

Registration

To make an LPA legally valid, it must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). This can be done either when the LPA is created or at a later stage. Registration involves a fee, and there is a waiting period before the LPA becomes effective.

Safeguards and Supervision

The OPG oversees LPAs and has the authority to investigate any concerns or complaints regarding an attorney’s conduct. There are legal safeguards in place to protect the donor’s interests and prevent abuse or misuse of power.

Creating an LPA can provide peace of mind, ensuring that trusted individuals are authorised to make decisions on your behalf when you are unable to do so. It is recommended to consult with a qualified legal professional specializing in LPAs to understand the process, legal implications, and how to create an LPA that suits your specific needs and circumstances.

Contact us today to schedule a consultation and take the first step toward securing your future and providing for your loved ones. Our dedicated team is here to assist you with all your will writing needs.

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