If you have investments, you may need an 'Attorney' to release funds for you or your family in the future. You may also need them to sell your property if you become incapacitated. If you have a medical situation, your attorney can make decisions in your best interest.
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that you (the Donor) make. It allows you to nominate someone you trust (the attorney) to make decisions on your behalf when you no longer wish to make these decisions yourself, or you may lack the mental capacity to do so. .
Put this in place now – in advance of any issues that may arise in the future as once the need arises, it is too late.
The LPA contains a number of safe-guards to protect you. You can do this as long as you have the mental capacity to do so.
There are two types of LPA for everyone:
- The 'Property and Financial Affairs' LPA allows your Attorney to take a wide range of actions in dealing with your property and financial affairs. This could include, for example, selling your house; dealing with your investments; withdrawing monies from a Bank or savings account; dealing with your tax affairs; paying bills on your behalf (including care and nursing home fees); and dealing with your benefits. This can also be used even if you are of sound mind.
- The 'Health and Welfare' LPA will allow your Attorney to make decisions about your personal welfare; where you should live; your day to day care; arranging your medical treatment and consenting or refusing such treatment on your behalf; arranging a care home for you; organising your personal activities and dealing with social services. This requires you to have lost mental capacity.
Both types of LPA are very powerful documents because of the wide-ranging decisions that can be made on your behalf by your attorney. There are a number of safe-guards which are built into the system, it is very important that you carefully consider who you want to act as your attorney. An attorney cannot make a will for you.
The 'Property and Financial Affairs' LPA can become legally binding once it is registered with the Office of the Public Guardian unless it contains a restriction that it should only come into effect once you have lost mental capacity.
With the 'Health and Welfare' LPA, even when it is registered with the Office of the Public Guardian, it only becomes legally effective once you have lost your mental capacity.
If you choose more than one person to be your attorney, then they can act either "jointly" or "jointly and separately". If they act jointly, then all decisions must be taken by all of your attorneys. If they act "jointly and separately", then one of your attorneys can take a decision by himself or herself.
At the end of your application, which we do for you, it is necessary for the LPA to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian in order to become legally effective. This costs £82 for each application (one or two) for each person.