Lasting Power of Attorney
We know that this can be a sensitive issue, but an LPA is an extremely important document. An LPA is a legal document that lets you (the ‘donor’) appoint one or more people (known as ‘attorneys’) to help you make decisions or to make decisions on your behalf, if you no longer can.
This gives you more control over what happens to you if you have an accident or an illness and can’t make your own decisions (you ‘lack mental capacity’).
What is, and why would you need a Lasting Power of Attorney?
The Steps to making a Lasting Power of Attorney
1. Choose your Attorney or Attorneys
You can choose one or more people to be your Attorney. If you decide to appoint more than one,
you must decide if they are to make decisions separately or together.
An Attorney needs to be 18 or over. They could be; a relative, a friend, a professional (for example a solicitor), your husband, wife or partner. You must appoint someone who has the mental capacity to make their own decisions. Your attorney doesn’t need to live in the UK or be a British citizen.
You can also have a replacement Attorney, if the (or one of) the original Attorneys can't act on your behalf. We recommend this.
2. Completing the forms
We can help you complete the relevant forms . With any form, we ensure that you are happy with each section, and we can go through and make any changes before submission. Once the forms are complete, they will need to be signed and witnessed.
3. Notify People
We only need to complete this form if there are ‘people to notify’ (also called ‘people to be told’ or ‘named people’) listed on the LPA. These are people you can list, so that when you register your LPA, the people on the list are notified. This is so you can notify relatives that you have made an LPA, but relatives are not entitled to be notified unless named in the LPA.
4. Registering the LPA
Once we have completed the necessary forms, we will register the LPA with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). It costs £82* to register each LPA unless you get a reduction or exemption.
*please be aware that these costs above are to be paid to the Office of the Public Guardian, and these costs do not reflect AM Law Solicitor's fees.
5. Certify your LPA
Now that all the forms have been completed, you should receive your LPA between 8 and 10 weeks from when it is registered. Once we have it, we can certify copies for you if you need them. Your attorney can also use the certified copy to prove they have permission to make decisions on your behalf, for example to manage your bank account.
The different types of Lasting Power of Attorney
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney, and each is used for a different purpose. Even though there are two different types, these cannot be combined, so if you require both, you have to register each separately.
Property and Financial Affairs:
This is to give an attorney the power to make decisions about money and property, for example;
managing a bank or building society account
collecting benefits or a pension
selling a home
Health and Welfare:
This is to give an attorney the power to make decisions regarding the health of the said person, such as;
a daily routine, for example; washing, dressing and eating
moving into a care home
We will aim to make this process relatively straight forward. We can also in exceptional circumstances arrange home visits if the person making the LPA is physically incapacitated. Please note that the person making the LPA must be of sound mind and have mental capacity at the time of making and signing the LPA.
Ending a Lasting Power of Attorney
You can end your LPA yourself - if you have mental capacity to make that decision.
You can also end a LPA if your Attorney;
loses the ability to make decisions - ‘loses mental capacity’
divorces you or ends your civil partnership if they’re your husband, wife or partner
becomes bankrupt or they’re subject to a Debt Relief Order (DRO) - if they’re a property and financial affairs attorney
is removed by the Court of Protection
We will need to send the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) both:
the original LPA, and
a written statement called a ‘deed of revocation’ - a statement that has to follow exact wording.