What is a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)?
Lasting Powers of Attorney, are legal documents registered with the Court of Protection enabling you to appoint representatives to act on your behalf.
You may believe that your spouse or children have an automatic right to manage your affairs, however this is incorrect. If you lost capacity and were unable to manage your bank accounts, sell your property or make decisions about medical treatment, neither could your loved ones. In this circumstance, a lengthy and expensive process involving the Court of Protection would have to be undertaken.
Whilst you still have capacity, you are able to appoint nominated persons to act on your behalf if the need arose. You may limit the power as much, or as little as you want, we are able to include ways to safeguard you and your assets.
There are two different types of LPA, one covering Property and Financial decisions, and one covering decisions about your wellbeing. You are able to make just one or both, and you can always make another if needed.
Health and Welfare
Lasting Powers of Attorney for Health and Welfare, allow your attorneys to make decisions about your wellbeing only when you do not have the capacity to do so. This also covers when you are ill, or you are in a medical situation (such as being unconscious) where you are unable to make decisions for yourself.
This power can also extend to decisions about Life Sustaining Treatment if you wish.
Types of decisions that can be made are:
- Consent to give/refuse medical treatments.
- Where you live, and who you have contact with
- Your daily care, to include diet and dress
It is important to note, Attorneys will not be able to act for you if you did still have capacity to make these decisions for yourself.
Attorneys must make decisions in your best interest, and there are regulations stating how then can and cannot act.
Property and Financial Affairs
Lasting Powers of Attorney for Property and Financial Affairs, allow your attorneys to make financial decisions for you. This can be whilst you still have capacity, but are struggling to deal with day to day running of your property or financial affairs.
Circumstances where the document could be used are:
- Selling or purchasing property on your behalf
- Opening, closing or managing bank accounts
- Paying your bills and expenses
- Dealing with tax issues
- Claiming benefits
You are able to specify the scope of your Attorneys involvement, and you can specify that the document only be used once you have lost capacity.
There is a wealth of information about acting as an attorney online, but it is important to make sure the information you are following is from a reliable source.
The Office of the Public Guardian have guidelines on their website – https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/office-of-the-public-guardian
The Mental Capacity Act 2005 code of practice can be found at www.gov.uk/opg/mca-code
Alternatively, try contacting charities such as Age UK, Mind or even Citizens Advice.
If in any doubt at all, come into the office and we will be able to give you advice.
Should you lose the LPA, certified copies can be provided. The Office of the Public Guardian will provide you with these for a £35 fee.
Alternatively, if the LPA was made with a legal professional, they may have a copy on file that they will certify for a small fee.
Our fees for drawing up these documents, include the work required to register the same with the Office of the Public Guardian. They are:
For a single person: For a couple:
One type only: £275 + VAT One type: £500 +VAT
Both types: £500 + VAT Both types: £950 +VAT
There is a Court Fee for registering a Lasting Power of Attorney. This is currently £82 plus VAT per document. This can be exempted or waived in certain circumstances, please do ask if you think you may qualify.
If you would like any further information, or would like to make an appointment to make a Lasting Power of Attorney.
Sussex Law Solicitors
45 Ladies Mile Road