Lasting Power of Attorney
What are Lasting Powers of Attorney?
Lasting Powers of Attorney (“LPA”) is a document under which you appoint someone to look after your affairs for you.
What are the different types?
There are two types of LPA, one relating only to financial decisions, similar in effect to the old Enduring Power of Attorney and the second relating to health and care, which was new in 2007.
Who can make a LPA?
Anyone aged 18 or over, with the capacity to do so, can make an LPA appointing one or more Attorneys to make decisions on their behalf.
Why would I get an LPA?
Making an LPA is an important aspect when planning for your future. For many of us, there will come a time where we are unable to deal with our day to day affairs due to lack of mental capacity, lack of physical capacity or even because you are spending a considerable amount of time abroad. By making an LPA, you are able to choose who is allowed to deal with your affairs. You do not get that choice if, for example, you lose capacity and an application to the Court of Protection is made for someone to be appointed to deal with your affairs because you are no longer able to do so.
Not only does the choice of attorney lie with you when making an LPA, you can also impose instructions and preferences to ensure they can only act how you want them to. Also, by making an LPA, you are not automatically allowing them to deal with your affairs straight away – it will there in readiness for when it is required or you can choose that it can only be used when you lack mental capacity, either way you maintain control of your affairs all the while you are able.
The costs of making an LPA should also be greatly considered. As touched upon above, where there is no LPA in place and you lose mental capacity, an application to the Court of Protection becomes necessary. The application fee for those applications is currently £365 whereas the cost of registering an LPA is only £82 (not including legal fees should you require such assistance but note that those are still significantly less for preparing an LPA).
Making an LPA gives you great peace of mind knowing that the people you trust will be the ones dealing with your affairs and also that those people do not face a long-winded, lengthy and costly process to do so.