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Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) Frequently Asked Questions

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Creating a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) doesn’t need to be daunting.  Read our Frequently asked Questions to understand what it is and why it’s important to have one.

What is an LPA?

A Lasting Power of Attorney is a document that allows a “Donor” (you) to appoint family, friends, or a professional (e.g. a financial advisor or a solicitor), to be your “Attorneys” and make decisions on your behalf.  There are two types of LPA, one relating to Property and Financial Affairs and one for Health and Welfare.

 

When can they be used?

LPAs are for use during your lifetime and usually once you have lost capacity. For example due to failing mental health, but can also be used for physical incapacity, or if you simply need some extra assistance. A Property and Finance LPA can be used by your Attorneys as soon as it is registered with your consent, alternatively the LPA can come into force only once you have lost capacity. Health and Welfare LPAs can only be used once you have lost capacity.  All LPAs must also be registered by the Office of the Public Guardian before they can be used.

 

Who should I appoint as my Attorneys?

An Attorney must be at least 18 years of age. Your Attorneys, above all, should be people who you trust and who have the relevant skills to manage your affairs.  This is commonly a partner/spouse, parent, sibling, child, or friend.

 

What powers would my Attorneys have?

Under a Property and Finance LPA, your Attorneys will be able to conduct tasks such as managing your bank accounts and investments, selling your property, paying your bills and dealing with your taxes.

Under a Health and Welfare LPA, your Attorneys will be able to decide where you live, consent to or refuse medical treatment and decide who you come into contact with.  You can also specifically state in your agreement whether you would like your Attorneys to be able to make decisions surrounding life-sustaining treatment or if you would prefer this be left to the doctors to decide.

When using these powers, Attorneys must adhere to the Mental Capacity Act 2005 Code of Practice. A great source of guidance for Attorneys can be found at The Office of the Public Guardian here.

 

What is a Certificate Provider?

All LPAs must be signed by a Certificate Provider who will confirm that you understand the powers you are giving to your Attorneys and that you have capacity to do so.  A Certificate Provider can be someone you have known well for 2 years but cannot be one of the Attorneys, or a member of your family, they could also be a legal professional for example a solicitor or GP. We act as the Certificate Provider for our clients in most cases.

 

Why should I use a solicitor to make an LPA when I can do this myself online?

  • We will advise you on the best way for your Attorneys to act.  This helps remove ambiguity and supports those nominated if they are unsure about their responsibilities.
  • We can tailor any preferences and instructions for your Attorneys in the most efficient way.  Removing duplication, conflicts and ensuring your wishes are met.
  • Using a solicitor reduces the risk of an LPA being rejected by the Court due to errors in the execution.  If errors are found and the LPA is rejected, then your wishes can be invalidated.
  • We act as your Certificate Provider, removing the need for you to identify another person.
  • We provide you with certified copies of LPAs for immediate use by your Attorneys. We also retain the original LPAs free of charge indefinitely to ensure they are not lost or damaged.

 

For LPA advice and support, please contact our Wills and Estate Planning specialists who will be happy to assist you.

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