A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that allows you (the 'donor') to appoint people (known as 'attorneys') to make decisions on your behalf in the future. There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney:
Property and Financial Affairs
Which allows the attorney to make decisions about selling a property and dealing with financial affairs such as paying bills, receiving bank statements, making financial decisions, etc.
Health and Welfare
Which allows decisions on treatment, future care, medication, future residence issues, etc.
You can make a Lasting Power of Attorney for either or both of these types of matters. Separate applications for registration have to be made for each Lasting Power of Attorney.
The application is made by completing a Lasting Power of Attorney form and making the appropriate application to the Office of the Public Guardian for registration. The Office of the Public Guardian manages the registration process and maintains a register of all registered Lasting Power of Attorneys.
It is important for a Lasting Power of Attorney to be made to ensure that one's affairs are properly dealt with if a person becomes unable to manage his or her own affairs in the future. If a Lasting Power of Attorney is not made and a person can no longer manage his or her own affairs, it may be necessary for an application to be made for a Deputy to be appointed by the Court of Protection
. This procedure is more expensive and involves the family in more time-consuming legal work.
Losing mental capacity is an unavoidable consequence of growing old for many people. Mental capacity may be lost completely if a person develops a dementia condition such as Alzheimer’s disease, suffers a stroke, falls into a coma or sustains a serious injury in an accident. A Lasting Power of Attorney, whereby a person chooses a representative(s) to take over control of their affairs in the event of mental incapacity, therefore represents sensible planning for an unpredictable future, and can end up saving all parties time, stress and money.
A person does not suddenly relinquish control of their financial affairs and property by setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney, rather they put in place a mechanism whereby a representative (usually a family member) can take control of their affairs either before or when they lose the capacity to make decisions on their own behalf. If and when a person’s mental faculties recover, they can then resume control of their affairs.
Yes, as this is such an important legal document you should see a solicitor to discuss your Power of Attorney. This is because it is crucial for us to understand what your wishes are. To achieve this it is always better to have a face to face meeting. This can be at your residence or at our offices.
We need to see you to go over many important issues such as who you would like to appoint as your attorney. If there are to be joint attorneys you will need to think about whether you wish to appoint them jointly so that they would both have to sign all documents and make decisions together or jointly and severally so that either of them could do this.
You can appoint a replacement attorney to act in case in the future your attorney is no longer able to act on your behalf.
You will also need to decide if you wish to impose any restrictions and conditions on your attorneys or if you wish to give them any guidance about matters and if they can charge for their services.
Your doctor or other professional person or someone who has known you for at least the last two years can act as your certificate provider. The Lasting Power of Attorney will then have to be signed by your certificate provider who confirms that he or she believes that you understand the purpose of the Lasting Power of Attorney and that no fraud or under pressure has been used to persuade you to sign the form and that there is nothing else which would prevent the Lasting Power of Attorney being created.
Once the Lasting Power of Attorney has been signed by yourself, the Certificate Provider and the attorneys, we will then make the application for registration of the LPA. The registration process will take at least 2 months.
Our solicitors will be able to deal with all the formalities on your behalf and progress matters as quickly as possible.
Louise Nelson is a solicitor with over 40 years’ experience in drawing up Lasting Power of Attorney documents, and explaining and advising on the process. Each LPA is different, because it is intended to reflect a person’s unique wishes and intentions. Louise has registered numerous LPAs for clients in Liverpool and across Merseyside over the years, and offers a no obligation consultation by phone or in person. Bartletts Solicitors offers a transparent fixed fee service so that clients know exactly how much they will pay before instructing us. Contact Louise today on 0800 373 894, or via the contact form below.
Mr and Mrs K were regular clients. We had acted for them on a number of matters and they advised us that they each wished to make a Lasting Power of Attorney relating to their property and financial affairs in case either of them became unable to manage these in the future.
They had two children and asked Louise Nelson at Bartletts: how can we appoint our children to act jointly to make decisions on our behalf if we should become ill? After explaining how this could be done, they decided to appoint their children to act jointly on their behalf so that any decisions would have to be made by both children rather than one of them.
After the Lasting Powers of Attorney had been registered, Mrs K subsequently became more and more confused and was diagnosed as suffering from Alzheimers disease. Fortunately as she had prepared a Lasting Power of Attorney, her children were able to take over her financial affairs and run these smoothly. This resulted in a substantial cost savings in that there was no need for an application to be made to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship Order.
In another case, Mr X signed a Lasting Power of Attorney and medical evidence was obtained to confirm that he had the necessary mental capacity to understand and to sign this.
The Lasting Power of Attorney was then registered. Unfortunately shortly afterwards, Mr X became confused and unable to manage his affairs but because the Lasting Power of Attorney had been signed, this resulted in significant savings and trouble in that no application had to be made to the Court of Protection for a Deputy to be appointed.