Lasting Power of Attorney
There are two types of LPA
A Property and Affairs LPA appoints someone to act in respect of your money and property. This LPA comes into effect after it has been registered (see below).
A Health and Welfare LPA appoints someone who can make decisions on your behalf about your welfare, e.g. where you live, your medical treatment, your day to day care etc.
Why do I need LPAs?
It is a precautionary measure in case one loses one’s marbles, or, one has an accident or a stroke, so while still capable of mentally managing one’s affairs, sadly one is physically incapable of doing so.
If you do not have a Property and Affairs LPA and cannot manage your affairs, then a Receiver will have to be appointed by the Court of Protection to deal with your assets. Appointing a Receiver will cost about £3,000. Furthermore, the Receiver will have to liaise with the Court every year and will have to seek orders to deal with your assets, incurring annual court costs all the while. Most Receivers find the process both frustrating and costly.
Appointing a Health and Welfare (H & W) Attorney is also incredibly useful as your attorney will be referred to by the individual’s carers for all his or her care needs. If there is no H & W in place, there is no facility to appoint one through the Court of Protection. Therefore, all care decisions will be made by the carers hopefully in the best interests of the patient, but less regard may be given to the family’s wishes. By appointing an H & W Attorney, the donor is giving a clear and loud message to all who will be looking after him or her that this is the person they are to refer to, i.e. this is the person you trust to make personal decisions for you.
Making an LPA
When you make an LPA, you need to decide who the Attorney(s) should be. You can also appoint replacement Attorneys. All Attorneys will sign the LPA as you will too. A Certificate Provider (e.g. a solicitor) will also sign to confirm that you have understood the roles and responsibilities you are giving your attorneys. Finally, you will need to name someone who is to be notified about the LPA. Once the LPA has been signed, and the person to be notified has been informed then it is registered at the Public Guardianship Office