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Clarke & Son Blog​

It’s not just a form

The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) which is an executive agency sponsored by the Ministry of Justice deals with the registration of Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs).  They receive over 1,000 calls every day to their contact centre which is a clear indication that LPAs are not straightforward, they can be complex and there are potentially serious implications in setting them up and great care must be taken when creating an LPA.

An LPA is a powerful legal document which allows a person to choose someone else to handle their affairs in the event that they are no longer able to do so themselves for example if they lose mental capacity.  The Attorneys do not need to be legal professionals they can be a trusted family member or friend.

There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney which covers the Donor’s property and financial affairs and a health and welfare one which is self-explanatory.  With both in place the Attorney will be able to make important decisions on behalf of someone such as the management of property, bank accounts, bill payment and making choices about care plans, medical treatment and end of life wishes.

This is a serious document that needs serious consideration.

There are risks associated with DIY Lasting Powers of Attorney such as mistaken information bearing inserted on the forms and the forms being rejected by the Court for registration.  Secondly, an individual making an application can more easily become a victim of fraud or coercion if there isn’t a legal professional acting to safeguard the situation when the LPA is put together and finally there is a real risk with DIY LPAs that they do not adequately express the wishes and preference of the person making the LPA.

Please seek independent legal advice on Lasting Powers of Attorney even if you think that your situation is very straight forward as the solicitor in question may well have additional advice for you which may be very relevant and beneficial.

If you would like to arrange an appointment to discuss an LPA or any Wills and Estate planning matters generally, please contact our First Contact team on 01256 320555 or email mail@clarkeandson.co.uk.

Nia Wharry

Wills & Estate Planning Partner

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