Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)
Let those whom you trust help with managing your financial affairs
What is a Lasting Power of Attorney ?
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) a Property and Financial Affairs LPA and a Health & Welfare LPA. A Property and Financial Affairs LPA is a document which allows you to choose people (attorneys) to have authority to deal with all your financial affairs for you, and a Health & Welfare LPA allows you to choose people who have authority to make decisions about your health and welfare issues.
The Property and Financial Affairs LPA
The Property and Financial Affairs LPA grants your attorneys legal authority to deal with and manage your financial affairs on your behalf. This LPA can be useful if you are abroad, physically or mentally incapacitated or simply want someone to help you manage your affairs. By having proper legal authority, your attorneys will be able to deal with all your affairs and the necessary organisations on your behalf with no issues.
This LPA offers peace of mind that people you trust will be legally allowed to manage your financial affairs on your behalf when the need arises. This can include the following:
- Paying your bills
- Dealing with your bank or savings accounts
- Buying or selling property
- Claiming pensions and other allowances
Without a Lasting Power of Attorney, your loved ones will find it very difficult to manage your financial affairs for you, effectively as they will not have legal authority to do so, this may cause any of the following problems.
- Your investments being left unmanaged
- Your property may fall into disrepair
- If you have no LPA in place your children may have to apply to the Court of Protection to manage your affairs which is far more expensive than an LPA.
Health & Welfare LPA
A Health & Welfare LPA allows your Attorneys to make decisions on your behalf about your personal welfare, including whether to give or refuse consent to medical treatment on your behalf and deciding where you live. Health and Welfare LPA’s only take effect if you have lost mental capacity. You will continue to make decisions until you lack capacity to do so.
Registration of your LPA
For a Lasting Power of Attorney to be effective, it must be registered with The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). Your attorneys can only act on your behalf once the LPA has been registered. If it is a Health and Welfare LPA, your attorneys can only act once the LPA has been registered and you have lost mental capacity.
Who should make a Lasting Power of Attorney ?
- Any senior citizen who feels that in the long or short term, they may need help with managing their financial affairs
- Any person who has to spend a long period working or living abroad
- A person who has suffered an accident or illness and is struggling to cope
Frequently Asked Questions.
Q. Can I not just wait and see if I lose mental capacity, and then get a Lasting Power of Attorney organised ?
A. No if you lack mental capacity you cannot legally complete a Lasting Power of Attorney application. It must be done while you have full mental capacity.
Q. If I give Lasting Power of Attorney to my children what’s to stop them selling my home against my wishes ?
A. When you organise your LPA with the Will Practice we make sure these concerns are addressed for example you can stipulate restrictions when arranging your LPA such as:
- My attorneys may not sell my home unless a doctor confirms that I can no longer live independently.
- My attorneys can not make any decisions on my behalf unless I have been declared by a doctor to be lacking mental capacity.
Q. If I give Lasting Power of Attorney to my children can I continue to make decisions myself ?
A. Yes you can continue to make decisions independently, you can decide if your children can also make decisions.
Q. Is there a type of LPA that would enable my chosen attorneys to deal with my financial affairs as wall as my health affairs?
A. Unfortunately not, you need separate LPA’s for each and unfortunately both have to be registered with the OPG and both attract a registration fee (currently £130) for each LPA. Although at the Will Practice we do offer savings if e.g. you decide to have both, or if you and your husband / wife decide to have one or two LPA’s.
Q. If I have a Health and Welfare LPA when can my attorneys act on my behalf
A. The Health and Welfare LPA would only take effect when the LPA is registered and if a doctor has confirmed that you have lost mental capacity. You will continue to make decisions until you lack capacity to do so.
Q. If I have a Health and Welfare LPA what type of decisions can my attorney make on my behalf.
A. Below are some examples of decisions your attorneys may make on your behalf if you have a health and welfare LPA
- consenting to or refusing medical examination and treatment;
- assessments for and provision of community care services;
- rights of access to personal information about you, including your medical records;
- where you should live and who you should live with;
- making arrangements for medical, dental or optical treatment;
- complaints about your care or treatment;
Q. If I have a Health and Welfare LPA are there any limitations as to what decisions can be made by my attorneys ?
A. There are three important limitations as to what attorneys can do under a welfare LPA:
- The attorney must act in your best interests;
- There is no power to demand specific forms of treatment. The attorney can merely give or refuse authority or consent to someone else – such doctor or carer – to carry out or withhold a particular treatment or act;
- If you are detained under the Mental Health Act 1983, no decision can be made regarding treatment for a mental condition