Lasting Power of Attorney Solicitors
Have you ever thought about who you would like to make decisions for you if you lose mental capacity? Creating a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) would give someone you trust that power.
What are the two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney?
Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney
A Lasting Power of Attorney for financial decisions can be drawn up by a solicitor in cases where an individual is looking to appoint somebody to manage key aspects of their financial affairs such as their property, and its associated day to day expenses, as well as bank accounts and investments. An LPA can be particularly useful if it is physically difficult for you to get to the bank or if you are unable to manage other day to day services because you are unable to leave your house or struggle to complete forms or use email. LPAs can continue even after the person granting the powers loses capacity. You can be reassured that your Attorneys must always be guided by the principles of the Mental Capacity Act, which is overseen by the Office of the Public Guardian, and they must always act in your best interests and provide information when requested. Furthermore, unless you have lost mental capacity, your Attorney(s) must consult with you before they do anything on your behalf. They must also liaise with each other and they can be required to provide reasons for everything they undertake.
Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney
A Lasting Power of Attorney for health and welfare decisions can only be used by an appointed attorney if the donor can no longer make choices for themselves. Powers of Attorney will ensure that only people you have chosen can make arrangements regarding such things as your health care, your medication, where you should live, who should care for you and who should visit you. There is also a section within the document where you are able to nominate replacement attorneys should substitution be required due to a death or refusal to act. You can also determine whether you wish to give your attorney authority to make decisions about life-sustaining treatment. The document is particularly useful if there is a dispute between family members, doctors, or social services involved in a loved one’s care.
You are only able to make a Lasting Power of Attorney when you have the mental capacity to do so. You will need a certificate provider to confirm your capacity at the time of making an LPA. If you’re not able to then a friend, partner or family member can apply to the Court of Protection. The Court of Protection can appoint them as your attorneys.
Why is capacity important?
An LPA can only be made where the donor has mental capacity to grant the powers to their nominated attorney.
How can our solicitors help?
Our solicitors have the experience and expertise to help you make a Lasting Power of Attorney, which will allow loved ones to make decisions on your behalf should you lose the mental capacity to do so.
At Eric Robinson, our expert solicitors will guide you through the process and can provide tailored advice. We’ll talk to you about putting in place a Lasting Power of Attorney for the future, and we’ll help you deal with your concerns about a loved one’s continuing ability to look after their affairs and future estate planning.
Our advisors at our law firm offer clients specialist legal advice and a service we’re proud of. If you want to talk to one of our team about making a Lasting Power of Attorney please don’t hesitate to get in touch using the phone number at the bottom of this page. Please call any of our offices today, or enquire via our website pages, and we can talk you through the menu of VAT inclusive fixed fees that we offer.
We can prepare documents on a fixed fee basis so you can be sure of the costs involved:
Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA):
|LPA for Financial Decisions OR Health & Care Decisions||£450.00||£90.00||£540.00|
|LPA for Financial Decisions AND Health & Care Decisions||£750.00||£150.00||£900.00|
|LPA for Financial Decisions for Business Owners (from)||£795.00||£159.00||£954.00|
#HIGHLIGHT#Double (Mirror) LPAs
|LPA for Financial Decisions OR Health & Care Decisions (mirror)||£750.00||£150.00||£900.00|
|LPA for Financial Decisions AND Health & Care Decisions (mirror)||£995.00||£199.00||£1,194.00|
Other Fixed fees:
|General Power of Attorney||£295.00||£59.00||£354.00|
|Registration of existing Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA)||£595.00||£119.00||£714.00|
|Registration of existing unregistered LPA||£395.00||£79.00||£474.00|
|Office of the Public Guardian Fee on registration (price per document, unless eligible for fee remission or exemption)||£82.00||N/A||£82.00|
|Certification (price per document drafted by Eric Robinson Solicitors)||£25.00||£5.00||£30.00|
What is a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)?
None of us like to think that, at some point in our lives, we may become unable to make decisions about ourselves, for ourselves. But unfortunately, sometimes that is the reality.
An LPA is a legal document which can be put in place now, appointing someone (an “attorney”) to look after your finances and your welfare should you begin to lack the mental capacity to do so. You might not need to call on the LPA, but it can be reassuring to know that it is there.
Must I appoint family members to be my Attorney?
It may go against the grain, but don’t assume that family members will always be the ones to step in when things become difficult for you.
If you don’t make an LPA there is no guarantee that, if you become mentally incapable in the future, your family or those close to you would be able to make decisions about your assets or future care. The Court of Protection would decide what should happen if there was a conflict.
Are there different types of Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA)?
There are two. The first covers property and financial affairs. Your appointed attorney or attorneys can make a range of decisions about your home, your income and your assets. Should you sell your property? Are your tax affairs in order? Are you claiming the right benefits? These are all things which can be looked after on your behalf.
The second type of LPA is to do with your health and care decisions. An attorney can decide where you should live, they can give consent for or refuse medical treatment on your behalf, and they will consider your day-to-day care including diet and dress.
Who should I appoint to be my Attorney?
The attorney is given a great deal of power over some of the most important decisions about you. Appoint someone you can trust to act in your best interests and to follow the principals and procedures associated with the role of attorney. It helps if that person already has some understanding of what they may be required to do.
You may wish to appoint a family member or somebody who is close to you. If you don’t feel that you know anyone suitable, then it is a good idea to appoint an experienced professional. The Partners at Eric Robinson Solicitors would be more than happy to act on your behalf in those circumstances for property and financial LPAs.
Can I appoint more than one Attorney?
You can appoint more than one attorney. It is worth thinking carefully about the detail of this; do you want them to act jointly or jointly and severally, or jointly in some circumstances and severally in others? If you appoint your attorneys to act jointly, then it means they have to act together in all decisions. If you appoint them jointly and severally then they can act alone or together in those decisions and therefore the decision-making can be more flexible.
It is also possible to appoint a substitute attorney to cover situations where an attorney dies or refuses to act.
You can also add restrictions or guidance so your attorneys are clear about your wishes (i.e. your care, where you live etc) in case you are unable to tell them yourself. Whereas if you do not make an LPA, the Deputy under a Deputyship Order may not know what you would have wanted.
Do I need independent advice when entering into a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)?
An LPA cannot come into being until an independent third party signs a certificate confirming that they have explained the purpose and scope of the LPA to you. There must have been no undue pressure or force involved in the decision to make the LPA, and the Certificate Provider also has to confirm that there is no other reason why the LPA ought not to be created.
Specialist lawyers at Eric Robinson Solicitors can act as your Certificate Provider.
Is it a good idea to activate your Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) straightaway?
The LPA must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before it can be used. Once registered, the LPA is active.
The property and financial affairs LPA can be used whilst you still have mental capacity (unless it is specified that it cannot). But a health and care decisions LPA can be only used when you no longer have capacity. The registration process can take approximately three months and so most people prefer to make and register their LPA immediately. It means that if they lose their mental capacity, they don’t have to wait for the document to be formalised and activated.
Eric Robinson Solicitors will be able to deal with the registration on your behalf.
Is it sensible to have a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)?
There may be nothing wrong with your mental health now. Sadly, that could change.
Making an LPA is money well spent because the alternative is expensive and time consuming. If you become mentally incapable and no attorney has been appointed, relatives or some interested parties would have to apply to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship Order. That means asking the Court to appoint a “Deputy” to make decisions on your behalf. The application requires a doctor’s certificate, a mass of paperwork and a court hearing.
If you make an LPA while you have mental capacity then you are ensuring that full provision is made for the future.
How much does a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) cost?
The cost of a Lasting Power of Attorney depends on whether you wish to make a property and financial affairs Lasting Power of Attorney or a health and care decisions Lasting Power of Attorney or both. If you wish to register the Lasting Power of Attorney immediately then a fee is payable to the Office of the Public Guardian.
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