Lasting Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA)
Appointing someone to manage your affairs on your behalf, should you ever become unable to deal with them yourself.
Whether it is dealing with your money, a house sale, a utility provider, your GP or care home, if you are not able, you can choose for an Attorney to be appointed to act on your behalf. The Attorney should be someone you know and trust. In this article we explore what a Power of Attorney (PoA) is.
Whether it is dealing with your money, a house sale, a utility provider, your GP or care home, if you are not able, you can choose for an Attorney to be appointed to act on your behalf. The Attorney should be someone you know and trust. A Power of Attorney empowers who you have chosen with the legal authority to assist you (the Donor) in making decisions or acting on your behalf if you are no longer able to. Your family, including your spouse or civil partner, will not automatically have this right; therefore, you should grant authority to whoever you want to act for you. There are two main types of PoA:
EPAs are a form of authority popular in the 1980s and 1990s; they are valid and can last a lifetime, enabling your appointed Attorney(s) to make property and financial decisions on your behalf. If you lose capacity, an EPA cannot be used until registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. Whilst now replaced, they still remain valid for financial matters.
LPAs replaced EPAs in 2007. A Lasting Power of Attorney continues to have an effect even if you lose capacity, which allows your chosen Attorney to make decisions on your behalf when you are unable. You can choose whether the LPA comes into effect immediately or when you lose capacity, limit what decisions your Attorney can make or express a preference on how decisions are made. There are two types of LPA:
The Attorney should be someone you know and trust. A Power of Attorney empowers who you have chosen with the legal authority to assist you.
EPAs are still valid and can be used if you have capacity without being registered. However, they cannot be used for health or welfare decisions and cannot express preferences or wishes like an LPA.
To use an EPA when you lose capacity, it must be registered at the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). This can be a long process as notices must be served upon family members and the Donor in addition to the OPG procedures.
It is good to review any EPA to ensure that it reflects who and how you want to make decisions for you. It may be a good time to change to an LPA if it doesn't.
If you have an EPA you may wish to in addition complete a Welfare LPA to cover both financial matters under the EPA and Welfare matters under the LPA.
An LPA once signed does not work and requires registration at the OPG. It can be registered at the time of creation or left signed in abeyance and then registered when needed.
If you don’t have an LPA and you lose capacity, a Court of Protection application will be needed and this can be a lengthy and expensive application.
If you are looking for further assistance or information that will give you peace of mind, our private client team would be delighted to help you. You can find out more by visiting our website or calling Sara Taylor, our Probate Manager or anyone of her team of Tracy, Abi and Mia on 01908 662277 who would be happy to help you.
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