A Lasting Power of Attorney or LPA is an important legal document. It is a cost-effective way of appointing someone you trust to manage your affairs in the future, should you ever become unable to manage them yourself.
You can sign the document now while you have the mental capacity so that it is ready to be used, should this ever become necessary.
At Lockings Solicitors, we have particular expertise in helping clients with LPAs. We can discuss the two different types of LPA with you and advise you on issues such as choosing the right attorney, registering an LPA and mental capacity.
Our Associate Director and Head of Private Client Joanne Liversidge has a high level of expertise in dealing with both LPAs and older clients. She is a longstanding member of Solicitors for the Elderly, the nationwide legal network for solicitors who specialise in legal affairs for the elderly. She is also a Dementia Friend with an in-depth understanding of this disease and the effects it has on individuals and their families.
As well as conducting more complex matters personally, Joanne supervises a team of expert solicitors and paralegals who are all down-to-earth, approachable individuals who take the time to understand and achieve your needs.
There are two types of LPA that you can make, one in respect of your property and financial affairs and one in respect of health and welfare.
You can make one or both types of LPA and appoint the same attorneys or different attorneys.
A property and financial affairs LPA will give your attorney the authority to manage your finances for you. This could include:
This type of LPA can be used by your attorney while you still have capacity if you want this to happen. For example, you may want someone to go to the bank on your behalf if you are unable to.
A health and welfare LPA cannot be used by your attorneyunless you have lost the ability to make your own decisions. It covers issues such as:
You can discuss with your attorney what you would like to happen in the future so that if they are ever called upon, they know what decisions to make for you.
If someone loses the ability to make their own decisions and they do not have an LPA, their family will not be able to help them with tasks such as paying bills or arranging care. This can cause substantial difficulties, particularly if action needs to be taken promptly.
A relative or someone else close to the individual would need to apply to the Court of Protection for a deputyship order enabling them to take control. The process of securing this can take many months and is substantially more expensive than making and registering an LPA. The individual would not be able to choose who they want to represent them.
The deputy, once appointed, will have more ongoing responsibilities than an attorney, needing to report annually to the Court of Protection and pay a supervision fee. New deputies also need to pay an initial assessment fee. Most deputies are also required to pay an annual security bond, which is an insurance payment that buys financial cover to protect the person’s finances.
Taking advice in respect of an LPA and having it drafted is the most cost-efficient way of ensuring you have help in place for the future, should you ever need it. At Lockings Solicitors, we advise on and draft standard LPAs on a fixed-fee basis which comes with our clear price guarantee so you will be given a clear price you can rely on.
There is also a fee (currently £82) charged by the Office of the Public Guardian to register the LPA so that it can be used. Some individuals are exempt from paying this fee if they receive means-tested benefits.
It is important to make a Lasting Power of Attorney while you are mentally capable of understanding its effects. This does not mean that someone with some mental impairment cannot make an LPA however. If they are able to appreciate the implications of signing then they can execute an LPA if they wish.
They will need to have all of the relevant information in respect of their situation and understand the authority that an LPA will give their attorney. They must be able to retain the information they are given and use it in making their decision.
It is also advisable to have someone involved in the process who is able to certify that the individual does have mental capacity at the time the LPA is signed. This could be a medical professional or a solicitor with experience of dealing with vulnerable clients.
Ideally, everyone should put a Lasting Power of Attorney in place while they are mentally still fit and able. As well as giving peace of mind, it allows families to help out as necessary, should someone ever lose the capacity to manage their own affairs. Without an LPA, organisations will not be able to deal with a family member, even a spouse or child.
If you are considering putting a Lasting Power of Attorney in place, please call us for a free initial chat. Our team are friendly and approachable and we are always happy to answer questions and do all we can to put you at ease.
You can ring us for a FREE initial chat on 01482 300 200, email us at firstname.lastname@example.org or fill in our Free Online Enquiry and we will call you back promptly. We have offices in Beverley, Hull and York and deal with Lasting Powers of Attorney in East Yorkshire and the York area.
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