In addition to your Will; a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is an invaluable document which you should consider making.
The ADLAW LPA service includes two home visits as standard. I am also able to act as the ‘certificate provider’ required to confirm your understanding of the document.
There are two separate types of LPAs, a Property and Financial Affairs LPA and a Health and Welfare LPA.
For a couple
*A full cost estimate will be provided with full terms and conditions.
** Costs do not include court fees required to register the documents (court concessions apply)
ADLAW charges are highly competitive and do not attract VAT. Package prices are available for those wishing to make a Will at the same time
What are Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs)?
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document in which someone (the donor) gives another person (the attorney) the right to make decisions on their behalf.
There are two different types of LPA:
A Property and Financial Affairs LPA can be used to appoint attorneys to make decisions such as:
– buying and selling property;
– operating a bank account;
– dealing with tax affairs;
– dealing with utility companies;
– paying care fees; and
– claiming benefits.
The donor can decide whether the LPA can be used as soon as it is registered or only once the donor has lost mental capacity.
The LPA can also restrict the decisions an attorney can make. If the donor has business interests he can make two Property and Financial Affairs LPAs appointing different attorneys to be in charge of personal and business affairs. See Do I need a Business Lasting Power of Attorney as well? for further information.
A Health and Welfare LPA can be used to appoint attorneys to make decisions such as:
– where the donor should live;
– day-to-day care (for example, diet and dress);
– who the donor should have contact with; and
– whether to give or refuse consent to medical treatment (including, if the donor wishes, life sustaining treatment).
A Health and Welfare LPA can be used only once the donor has lost mental capacity to make health and welfare decisions for him/herself. A Property and Financial Affairs LPA can also be used before the donor loses mental capacity if he/she wishes to delegate decision making.
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) allows you to decide who manages your finances and makes decisions concerning your health and welfare when you are not able to do so yourself, through lack of mental capacity.
The Alzheimer’s Society report that there are over 850,000 people with dementia in the UK with numbers set to rise to over 1 million by 2025. Mental incapacity can also be brought on by accident or injury in younger years.
In addition, appointing trusted attorneys enables you to delegate decision making regarding property and finances in your advancing years whilst you still have capacity, should you wish to do so.
The term ‘next of kin’ has no legal recognition. Without a LPA in place your friends or family would need to make an application to the Court of Protection to manage your affairs. See What if I lose capacity and don’t have a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) in place? for further details.
Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPAs) were replaced by Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) in October 2007.
If you made and signed an EPA before 1 October 2007 your EPA should still be valid. However, EPAs do not cover health and welfare issues. See Health and Welfare Lasting Powers of Attorney LPAs for futher information.
Whilst it is possible to remove an attorney from an EPA (provided the donor has capacity to do so) it is not possible to add people on to the document.
If a client has business interests it may be advisable to cancel an existng EPA and make two Property and Financial Affairs LPAs; one for personal and one for business affairs. See Do I need a Business Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) aswell? for more information.
More and more clients who wish to make Health and Welfare LPAs are deciding to cancel their EPAs at the same time and make both types of LPAs. This may prove cost effective as the cost of registering an EPA in the future (see When should an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) be registered? ) can be expensive. ADLAW provide a package price for both types of LPAs.
An Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) can be used unregistered with permission from the person who made it (the donor). An attorney must, however, register an Enduring Power of Attorney when the donor has lost or is beginning to lose mental capacity to make decisions.
ADLAW can assist the attorney, through the registration process.
Estimate cost from £250*
*A full cost estimate will be provided with full terms and conditions.
** Costs do not include court fees required to register the EPA (court concessions apply).
ADLAW charges are highly competitive and do not attract.
If you have business interests you should consider how your business will continue to run in the event of your mental incapacity. You might wish to appoint separate attorneys to manage your personal affairs from your business interests. ADLAW can prepare two separate Property and Financial Affairs LPAs for you, appointing those most suitable.
If you have already made an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA), it is unlikely that this provides for a separation between your personal and business affairs. If this applies to you and you would like to cancel your EPA ADLAW can help.
Please note I do not advise Partnerships or Limited Companies.
People often think that a spouse or ‘next of kin’ will be able to make decisions on behalf of a person who lacks the capacity to make decisions for themselves, this is not the case.
Banks are legally obliged to freeze an account once you lose mental capacity. Anybody dealing with your account, including your share of a joint bank account, after this point has no legal authority to do so. Without an LPA in place any joint property may also require a court order before it can be sold.
Without a Health and Welfare LPA in place decisions about you will be taken by health and social care professionals. Your family or friends (even your spouse) may not be as involved as you would like.
If you do not have a LPA in place your family/friend will need to apply to the Court of Protection to become your Deputy. This will involve the following:
– making a court application at an already upsetting and stressful time;
– the court will decide who acts as your Deputy;
– a lengthy court application (possibly even a year) leaving assets frozen and decision making in limbo;
– a report on your mental capacity;
– more expensive court costs and additional annual fees;
– the probability of the court not appointing a Deputy for Heath and Welfare.
The Mental Capacity Act 2005 states that in order to have capacity to make a LPA a donor must:
– have all the relevant information;
– be able to retain that information; and
– be able to weigh the information up to arrive at the decision to make the LPA.
A person must also be able to understand the benefits of making an LPA and also the consequences of losing mental capacity without a LPA in place. See What if I lose capacity don’t have a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) in place? for further information.
If I have any concerns regarding your ability to make a LPA, with your permission, I am happy to work with your GP in order to confirm mental capacity.