How to get a Power of Attorney

A Lasting Power of Attorney or LPA is a crucial document in long-term financial and health planning. It gives you the opportunity to choose the right person to represent you and make decisions on your behalf, should this ever become necessary. We take a look at how to get a Power of Attorney and what your attorney will be able to do on your behalf.

At Lockings Solicitors, we represent clients all across East Yorkshire and the York area, drafting Lasting Powers of Attorney that accurately reflect their wishes and enable loved ones to step in to help them if needed. We can work with you to establish who is the best attorney for your requirements and how you would like them to manage your affairs.

Our team has in-depth experience of assisting clients in making LPAs and you will find them to be approachable and understanding. Our Head of Private Client, Joanne Liversidge, is a longstanding member of law group Solicitors for the Elderly, a national organisation of solicitors with particular expertise in helping older and vulnerable clients manage their legal affairs.

She is also a Dementia Friend and knows the challenges faced by sufferers and their families, both in coping with day to day life and in respect of legal issues.

Joanne heads a strong and understanding team who can advise on the legal implications of making and using LPAs and who will take the time to get to know your situation and the best way in which we can help. You will find our LPA lawyers to be friendly and understanding at what may be a difficult time.

We offer a FREE initial chat so that you can ask us any questions you may have at this stage. Call us on 01482 300 200, email us at welcome@lockings.co.uk or fill in our Free Online Enquiry and we will call you back promptly. We have offices in Beverley, Hull and York and represent clients across the East Yorkshire and York area.

Why do I need a Lasting Power of Attorney?

If you should ever become unable to manage your own affairs, then someone appointed as your attorney under an LPA can step in to do this for you.

Without an LPA, no-one will be able to deal with matters for you and this can cause problems in the short term. For example, your loved ones would not be able to pay bills or arrange care for you.

Once someone has lost mental capacity, it is too late to make an LPA. Instead, family members would need to apply to the Court of Protection for a deputyship order. This can take many months to arrange, meaning it would not be possible to deal with financial matters for the person in the meantime.

A deputyship order is also more complicated to obtain as well as being more expensive than an LPA. It involves more ongoing reporting and annual supervision fees.

By putting an LPA in place while you still have the mental ability to do so, you can avoid any problems, should you ever need help with your affairs.

What are the types of Power of Attorney?

There are two main types of Lasting Power of Attorney:

  • Property and financial affairs Lasting Power of Attorney; and
  • Health and welfare Lasting Power of Attorney.

If you are a business owner, you may also want to make a separate business Lasting Power of Attorney, appointing someone with a working knowledge of your organisation to deal with running it on your behalf.

There is also a general Power of Attorney. This is useful in the short term, for example, if you need someone to deal with certain matters while you are overseas. It cannot be used if you lose mental capacity.

What decisions can be made under a Lasting Power of Attorney?

Property and financial affairs LPA

The types of actions a property and financial affairs attorney may need to take include:

  • Paying bills
  • Investing
  • Receiving pension payments and benefits
  • Insuring your home
  • Arranging for maintenance of your home
  • Renting or selling your home, if necessary
  • Paying care fees
  • Providing money for day to day living expenses
  • Making small cash gifts that you would have made yourself, such as for the birthday of a close relative

Health and welfare LPA

Health and welfare decisions that your attorney could make on your behalf include:

  • Where you will live
  • Selecting a care home for you if this is needed
  • What daily routine you will have
  • What care you will receive
  • What medical treatment you will have
  • What medical treatment will be refused on your behalf

How do I get a Power of Attorney?

Making a Lasting Power of Attorney is a relatively straightforward process. We can work with you to identify what authority you want to give to your attorney and whether you want to restrict them in any way.

We will then draft one or more LPAs for you and go through the contents with you, ensuring that you understand the document and the implications of signing.

You can include a list of ‘people to be notified’ on your LPA and they will be told when the document is registered so that it is ready for use. This will give them the opportunity to consider whether they believe the appointment of an attorney to be in your best interests.

Who should I choose as an attorney for a Lasting Power of Attorney?

As well as selecting someone whom you trust, you need to make sure that your attorney will have the time and ability to act for you, should it ever be necessary.

It may be advisable to choose someone who is younger than you, to ensure that there is a good chance that they will be able to take on the role if the time comes.

Being an attorney can be relatively time-consuming, so you also need to make sure that anyone you select is likely to be able to commit to the role.

You can choose more than one attorney if you want and you can have different attorneys for each LPA that you make.

If you choose two or more attorneys under an LPA, you will need to decide whether you want them to be able to make decisions and sign paperwork individually or whether you want them to have to deal with everything jointly. It can be easier for the attorneys if just one of them is able to work alone, as requiring two signatures for everything can make everything slower.

You could specify any decisions that you want to be decided jointly, for example, deciding to move you to a care home or sell your property.

You can also appoint back-up or replacement attorneys. This is a good idea, as it means that your LPA can still be used if your first-choice attorney is unable or unwilling to act for any reason.

Contact our East Yorkshire and York area Power of Attorney solicitors

If you do not yet have a Lasting Power of Attorney but you would like to discuss putting one in place, we would be happy to hear from you.

We offer a FREE initial chat so that you can ask us any questions you may have at this stage. Call us on 01482 300 200, email us at welcome@lockings.co.uk or fill in our Free Online Enquiry and we will call you back promptly. We have offices in Beverley, Hull and York and represent clients across the East Yorkshire and York area.

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