Lasting Power Of Attorney

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)?

Lasting Power of Attorneys (LPA’s) replaced the EPA’s (Enduring Power of Attorney’s) in the Mental Capacity Act (MCA) 2005 which came into effect on 1 October 2007. As the UK population’s life expectancy increases, more of us are becoming worried about later life and what will happen if we are no longer able to manage our affairs or make decisions about our ongoing care.

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document which lets you (the ‘donor’) appoint one or more people (the ‘attorneys’) to help you control decisions that affect you, even when you can’t make them yourself, because you lack the ‘mental capacity’ to make them yourself.

They can be set up relatively cheaply, with or without the help of a solicitor. You may consider having one alongside your Will.

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LPA's

What Types of LPA Are There?

There are two types of LPA, one covering health and welfare and the other covering property and financial affairs. You can make an LPA for one or both of these areas depending on your needs.

How Old Must You Be To Create An LPA?

You need to be over 18 years old and you must have the ‘mental capacity’ i.e. the ability to make your own decisions, when you make the Lasting Power of Attorney.

What Are The Benefits Of A Lasting Power of Attorney?

The future isn’t certain for anyone, but a Lasting Power Of Attorney can give you peace of mind, that if in the future you are unable to make decisions about you finances or care, you have appointed someone you trust to make those decisions for you. An LPA allows you to plan and choose:

  • What decisions you want to be made on your behalf
  • Who will make those decisions
  • How you want them to make those decisions

An LPA can be tailored so you can specify what you would like to happen in certain circumstances. This means you have more control over your future and any decisions that might need to be made. They are designed to be recognised by financial institutions, care homes and local authorities, as well as tax, benefits and pension authorities. This means your relatives will find it much easier to deal with these types of institutions on your behalf.

What If You Don't Have A Lasting Power Of Attorney?

If you do not have an LPA in place and later in life have an accident or have an illness which causes you to become mentally incapacitated, relatives may face long delays and expense in applying to the court of protection to get access and take control of your assets and finances, or to deal with public bodies who are responsible for your health and welfare. This can cause a great deal of stress at a time when they least need it.

How Do You Make An LPA?

Firstly you need to choose your attorney(s), you can have more than one if you wish. Then you need to complete the LPA forms, appointing them as an attorney. You can either do this online or with a solicitor, such as Routh Clarke. You will need to ask the attorneys and witnesses to sign these forms when completed. Next you need to inform all the people you listed in the LPA as people who should be notified using an LP3 form. You can register your LPA with the Office of the Public Guardian. There is a fee of £110 for each LPA and it can take up to 10 weeks to be registered.

Can You End Or Change An LPA?

You can end or change your LPA, but it will depend on whether you still have ‘mental capacity’ or not. If you do have mental capacity you can revoke your LPA. You can also change your LPA or make a complaint about your attorney if you have concerns they are not carrying out their responsibilities properly. To find out more see our Pages on ending or changing your LPA.

Why Use A Solicitor To Prepare Your IPA?

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 is relatively new law compared to most other laws. Usually new laws need time for some of the “grey” areas to be ironed out by Judicial decisions, often in the Appeal courts. If a Solicitor draws up your Lasting Powers of Attorney for you, they will know all the recent case law and can ensure your LPA takes these into consideration.

Once people are at the point where they lack mental capacity, circumstances can become very emotionally charged and decisions which previously seemed easy to comprehend, become much more difficult in practice. If the decisions are witnessed and then documented by a solicitor, you can be more assured that your wishes will be adhered to. If you would like to discuss this with a solicitor who understands the nature and emotions to do with LPA’s, then call Nick Routh at Routh Clarke and he will help you work out the best solution for you.