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LASTING POWER OF
ATTORNEY

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

A Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that enables you to appoint a third party or a person of your choice, to make important decisions on your behalf, and they are able to gain access to your bank accounts to ensure that bills are paid. 

An Attorney has the written authority to make decisions on your behalf if you become incapacitated or are unable to do so yourself. We may find ourselves in similar circumstances,  such as life-threatening illnesses and health conditions, like stroke, cancer or dementia. Crucially, this appointment can only be made when you are mentally fit and well. Leaving it too late can mean that trusted relatives and friends are powerless to make decisions for you.

What types of LPA are available?

An LPA ensures that should you be unable to manage your affairs, your appointed person can manage your financial life on your behalf, taking away the unnecessary distress and ensuring your affairs will be handled correctly.

There are three types of LPA, and you can appoint the same or different people for each category: 

  • Health and Wellbeing
  • Financial
  • Business LPA 

Health and Wellbeing LPA

  • Covers decisions around your health and care
  • It helps decide where you will live
  • It covers life-sustaining treatment decisions, should you become terminally ill

It enables the attorney to speak to the Doctors, Social Services and support care staff on your behalf to make decisions about your level of health care. Unlike the property and finance LPA, the health and wellbeing LPA can be used once the mental capacity is lost, it cannot be granted at the time of registration. 

Financial LPA

This LPA helps protect your property and assets, it enables loved ones to deal with the following:

  • Paying bills
  • Buying & selling property
  • Managing bank accounts and investments
  • It enables your attorney to speak to banks, credit card companies and utility providers

Business LPA

Should you as a Director of a business become critically ill or lose capacity, your appointed attorney can carry on with the business on your behalf. This enables the business to continue as your attorney can do things like speak to your bank, authorise payroll and sign documents for you.  Most directors will appoint a professional, an accountant would work well, as they know a lot about how your business works.

You can have one without the other, but it is recommended to get them together at the same time. Popular belief is that either married or cohabiting couples can automatically legally deal with their partners’ affairs, but this is not the case. 

What happens if I do not have an LPA?

If you have no LPA, your family needs to apply to the court to become a deputy, this can be a long and expensive process and adds additional stress when you don’t need it. Capacity can be lost every day through accidents, so age should not be a determining factor.

Who decides that Capacity is lost?

According to The Mental Capacity Act 2005, it states that a person cannot make a decision if:

  • They cannot understand information relevant to the decision.
  • They cannot retain information long enough to make a decision.
  • They cannot use the information to communicate the decision.

We can always help no matter how complicated the circumstances are.

Who is best placed to make these decisions for you and have your best interests in mind? 

When choosing an Attorney, it is important that you consider the following:

  • Do not leave it till the last minute, it can take some weeks to complete
  • Do not assume that only older people need a lasting power of attorney
  • You could have an unknown health condition or accident which renders you incapable
  • They must not take advantage nor delegate unless authorised to do so and must act in good faith
  • Consider appointing two attorneys and another two as replacements in case one of them is unable to carry out your wishes and their duties 
  • Do you completely trust your appointed Attorney as you are granting them a lot of power? 
  • This person does not have to be a family member 
  • They must be over 18
  • It must not be someone who has ever been declared bankrupt
  • They are obliged to act in your best interest and encourage you to make decisions as much as you can do, based on your capacity
  • Treat your matters as confidential and comply with court protection

What is the cost of an LPA? 

Everyone must pay the registration fee to register a Lasting Power of Attorney. However, people on low incomes or on benefits can obtain discounts on these fees. They are paid to the office of the public guardian, and according to the Government source, it costs £82 to register a single LPA unless you get a reduction or exemption. Certainty Estate Planning has no control over these fees, they are paid directly to the Office of the Public Guardian.

If you use a professional company like Certainty Estate Planning, a fee is charged for preparing the documents. The benefit is that you are assured the documents are prepared and completed correctly. Our documents are legally binding and contain no errors. Extra care needs to be taken with LPA’s as the signatures must be in a time sequence, if not, you will have to pay a re-registration fee on top of the original as they will be rejected, we remove that worry for you.

If you decide not to use a professional service provider like Certainty and organise this yourself if you do make an error, it could be too late to rectify as often they are only discovered when needed. 

Why not let Certainty Estate Planning take the reins and offer you a smooth journey, which is stress-free and done professionally?

Get in touch today to find out more about the support and services that Certainty Estate Planning can offer to you and your family.

If you use a professional company like Certainty Estate Planning, a fee is charged for preparing the documents. The benefit is that you are assured the documents are prepared and completed correctly. Our documents are legally binding and contain no errors. Extra care needs to be taken with LPA’s as the signatures must be in a time sequence, if not, you will have to pay a re-registration fee on top of the original as they will be rejected, we remove that worry for you.

If you decide not to use a professional service provider like Certainty and organise this yourself if you do make an error, it could be too late to rectify as often they are only discovered when needed.

Why not let Certainty Estate Planning take the reins and offer you a smooth journey, which is stress-free and done professionally?

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