In our opinion a Lasting Power of Attorney particularly in relation to property and affairs is as important as making a last will and testament as if you ever lack mental capacity in the future you would wish to ensure that someone you trust absolutely is in charge of your property and affairs and looks after your best interests at all times
We are able to advise at short notice and at fixed costs as to the benefits of a lasting power of attorney. If you are considering whether or not a lasting power of attorney is necessary either for your own personal needs and peace of mind or for a relative who is perhaps elderly or where there are concerns about mental capacity, please contact us for an initial free telephone consultation.We can attend upon the client at their home and there is no additional charge for this servive (provided the client resides within a 5 mile radius of the office).
You can formally appoint a friend, relative or professional to hold a Lasting Power of Attorney that will allow them to act on your behalf.
An LPA allows you to appoint another person to manage your affairs if you become unable to do so. The person you appoint is called your Attorney and their role is to make the decisions that you would have made if you were able to.
Hopefully you will never need to use your LPA, but preparing one is a way of making sure that, in the event of permanent or temporary mental incapacity, someone of your own choice will be able to represent you. If you do not have an LPA and you are not capable of making your own decisions, an application will have to be made to the Court of Protection to appoint somebody with authority to handle your affairs. This is a time consuming and expensive application and you may have to pay court fees on an annual basis.
- a Property and Affairs LPA (which allows your Attorney to manage your financial affairs
- a Welfare LPA (which allows your Attorney to make personal and healthcare decisions)
An Attorney’s role under a Property and Affairs LPA can include collecting benefits, paying bills and expenses, managing bank accounts, buying and selling property and submitting tax returns. An Attorney’s role under a Welfare LPA can include making decisions as to residential and nursing care and consenting to health care decisions.
You can limit the powers that an Attorney has and, if you want, include guidance to help the Attorney in making their decisions. You should appoint someone you trust and in whom you have complete confidence. Your Attorney must be aged over 18 and not bankrupt. You can appoint more that one Attorney so that both Attorneys have to act and make decisions together.
An LPA must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before it can be used. Once registered, a Property and Welfare LPA can be used immediately but a Welfare LPA can only be used when you are not mentally capable of making your own decisions.
You can register your LPA straight away and have peace of mind in knowing that it can be used as soon as necessary. Alternatively, you can prepare your LPA and hold on to it. It can then be registered at a later date. An unregistered LPA does not give the Attorney any legal power. You can also revoke an LPA at any time, provided that you have the capacity to do so. In our opinion as currently it takes in the region of 9 weeks for the Office of the Public Guardian to register a lasting power of attorney and your Attorney may have to in the future use the lasting power of attorney as a matter of urgency it is wise to register the lasting power of attorney once it is made and we do not charge any additional fees for registration.
You do not have to seek legal advice but an LPA is a powerful and important legal document and you may wish to seek advice from a legal adviser with experience of preparing them. There will also be a Court fee payable if you decide to register your LPA straight away, but in some circumstances you may be able to apply for an exemption or a remission of the court fee.
In addition to Lasting Powers of Attorneys we also assist in respect of all applications to the Court of Protection including for an appointment of Deputy which in simple terms is where a person is unable due to mental capacity to enter into a Lasting Power of Attorney another person applies to the Court of Protection to be that person's Deputy ( in effect a Court appointed Attorney). To date where the Court of Protection sets down fixed fees in relation to applications we have never exceeded the fixed fees set down by the Court.Further information and guidance may be found at The Office of the Public Guardian.
Please get in touch for a free initial consultaion.