Why do I need a Lasting Power of Attorney?


"According to the Alzheimers Society 225,000 will develop dementia this year, that’s one every three minutes."

Without a valid Lasting Power of Attorney should a person lose mental capacity due to an accident, or illness such as Alzheimer’s or a Stroke, the Court of Protection via the Office of the Public Guardian will take control to protect them from themselves and the unscrupulous. With a Lasting Power of Attorney you decide who takes control of your affairs. see video

How does it work?

A Lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a powerful legal document that gives another adult the legal authority to make certain decisions for you, if you become unable to make them yourself. The person who you give this authority is known as an ‘attorney’. They can manage your finances and make decisions relating to your health and welfare.

To become legally binding this document must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG).

It is recommended that you register your LPA’s immediately although it is not compulsory. If there are mistakes on the documents the courts will reject your application. If this happened when you no longer have capacity, you would not be able to make a new one.

When should I set it up?

It is very sensible and responsible to do this whilst you are in good health if you want to avoid the possibility of huge financial and legal complications. Waiting until after your health has deteriorated will limit your or prevent and your family’s options dramatically.

It is important to remember...

You can only set up a Lasting Power of Attorney when you have mental capacity. Once you've lost capacity, it's too late.

A Lasting Power of attorney can be used both when you HAVE the mental capacity and no longer wish to make the decisions for yourself, or you no longer have the mental capacity to do so.

When can I use it

Once a Lasting Power of Attorney has been registered and the documentation received, it can be used at any time only with your permission or if you have lost mental capacity.

"You are not losing your independence by creating a lasting power of attorney."

It may be that you (if you are the attorney) need to use it straightaway, if your relative is very ill. Or you might need to use it every now and then for short periods while your relative is in hospital. On the other hand, the document might sit in a drawer for years before it is needed.

If an attorney should need to use a Lasting Power of Attorney they must show a certified copy to any organisation they want to deal with on behalf of the donor, including banks, building societies and insurance companies.

 

What if I do nothing?

Difficulties that would arise for your family and loved ones if you became mentally incapacitated through a stroke, accident, dementia (eg, Alzheimer's) without making legal arrangements first.
Joint bank, building society and business accounts can be frozen by the court of protection having devastating consequences if the joint account holder relies on this account to pay their bills and mortgage.

If you lost mental capacity without an LPA in place an application would need to be made to the Court for a family member or loved one to become a Deputy before they could look after your property and financial affairs.
The costs associated with this process usually exceed £4,000 for an individual and much more if a solicitor is used, and can take more than six months.

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The old Enduring Power of Attorney document which would still be valid does not cover health and welfare.

Health and welfare lasting power of attorney

A health and welfare lasting power of attorney can be made to give your attorney the right to make personal welfare and medical treatment decisions on your behalf if at some time in the future you are unable to make those decisions yourself. A health and welfare lasting power of attorney can only be used when it has been registered and the donor has lost capacity (the ability to handle their own affairs).

Property and financial affairs lasting power of attorney

A property and financial affairs lasting power of attorney can be made to give your attorney the right to make financial decisions, such as managing your bank account. Once registered, a property and financial affairs lasting power of attorney can be used while the donor still has capacity, unless the lasting power of attorney specifies otherwise.

The Heather Bateman Story

The video shown on BBC’s One Show gives a brief overview of the financial impact and emotional turmoil that was added to Heather Batemans awful situation with her husband being hit by a car. For the full story click here.

Without an LPA you can face great difficulties including losing control of and bank account in the name of the person who has lost capacity, this includes joint bank accounts!

The LPA Preparation Process

A consultation ensuring the right choices of LPA are made and that the person appointing attorneys in of full mental capacity and is not under pressure from another person to create the LPA.

A questionnaire is completed to collect the content and your instructions for your LPA(s). You may choose to create the documents but not register them until needed, or register them immediately ready for use should the need arise. Registration is a separate cost to creation of the documents and is payable to the Court of Protection at £110 per LPA.

The preparation of your LPA(s) which can be prepared within 7 – 14 days. An express service is available should the circumstances dictate. (Registration can take 8 weeks plus in addition the preparation of the LPA’s)
The delivery and guidance with the signing of your LPA(s), there is a strict criteria of signing which must be followed.
You may choose to keep your LPA's at home or in a safe place prior to registration or indeed after registration. Be aware that once registered your attorney can make decisions for you.
We provide legal storage where you have access via an ID card with security code, your unregistered or registered LPA's can be kept securely until required. The annual fee for legal storage is £49

Our philosophy

We create robust legal documents for our clients including wills, lasting powers of attorney, asset trusts and more, working at your convenience to make it easy in this busy world!

Common questions

What does an LPA do?

An LPA allows a person that you know and trust to legally make decisions for you in the event of you losing mental capacity whether by accident or illness.

Can I lose access to our joint account?

As the Heather Bateman case describes, the Court of Protection, which protects the vulnerable, can essentially seize control of bank accounts to protect the vulnerable, any account with their name on including joint accounts.

Is it possible to avoid court costs?

In comparison to the costs involved of becoming a deputy and any accounting/management reporting that need to be produced on a yearly basis, the cost of establishing a lasting power of attorney is a fraction of the cost and should it ever be needed will be worth many times it’s cost in relief.

LASTING POWERS OF ATTORNEY FOR BOTH PROPERTY & FINANCE AND HEALTH & WELFAREmade TROUBLE FREE with one call and a convenient appointment