20 Reasons to make a Lasting Powers of Attorney in 2020

“What is a Lasting Power of Attorney and why do I need one” is a question that we are asked regularly at New Leaf Solicitors. There are lots of reasons why you should make and register a Lasting Power of Attorney, but below is a list of the top twenty…

  • To put you in control. A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a registered legal document which allows you to appoint a person or persons who you trust (known as ‘attorneys’) to act on your behalf.
  • Your attorneys can make decisions and manage your affairs when you are unable to due to poor health, an accident or a degenerative condition such as dementia.
  • You may appoint more than one attorney to act together (jointly), together and independently (jointly and severally) or jointly in respect of some matters and jointly and severally in respect of others.
  • They have the authority to deal with your financial affairs, such as the banks and pension providers when you register a Property and Finances LPA.
  • When you’ve lost capacity, your attorneys can also make decisions regarding your health and welfare under a Health and Welfare LPA.
  • However, if you’ve already lost capacity and don’t have a registered LPA it’s unfortunately too late. An LPA is a bit like an insurance policy; you make and register it in plenty of time and put it away for when it’s needed most.
  • The process to apply for an LPA is straight forward. There is an application form and a fee to be paid, but no lengthy Court process. If the forms are filled out by all parties correctly the application is granted.
  • You can stipulate limitations within the LPA and state any specific preferences or instructions that you would like to be followed.
  • The Court offers a partial or whole fee remission for anyone on a low income, so in some circumstances the Court application fee is completely waivered.
  • You don’t need a solicitor to complete the forms for you. But most people prefer to instruct a solicitor to ensure that the application is completed properly without any mistakes, which cost time and money to put right.
  • Your solicitor can act as certificate provider and as a witness to all signatures in the LPA meaning the whole application can be completed in one go.
  • The whole application from meeting with you to take your instructions, to obtaining a registered LPA on your behalf takes between 8-10 weeks. Once registered it is ready to be used as soon as you want it to be.
  • If you don’t have a trusted friend or family member to act as an attorney on your behalf, you can appoint a professional attorney (such as a solicitor or accountant) to act in that role for you.
  • Once a person loses capacity, if they need help with any of the above and don’t have a registered LPA then an application to the Court of Protection for a Deputy Order is necessary. This is much more time- consuming and very expensive.
  • More importantly you will have lost your right to choose who has the responsibility to look after your affairs as the Court decides will who be your Deputy, at a time when it is vital that you are looked after with efficiency and also sympathetically.
  • An LPA does not affect your Will.
  • You can change or revoke an LPA at any time, so long as you retain mental capacity to do so.
  • You are protected. The Court of Protection has the power to revoke LPAs at any time and an application to the Office of the Public Guardian can be made to report incidents of abuse by attorneys.
  • It gives you peace of mind. You have put LPAs in place and asked trusted friends or family members to take an active role in your life should anything happen to you that leaves you incapable of communicating your wishes to those closest to you.
  • We are experts in providing you with advice about your LPA, so why not call us today on 01908 542 677 to get the ball rolling.

 

Please note that the above summary applies only to English and Welsh Lasting Powers of Attorney made on or after 1st October 2007. Different laws apply in Scotland and Northern Ireland. The information provided in all our blogs only reflects some issues to consider on the topic and does not contain considered legal advice and therefore should not be relied upon as advice. If you are interested in obtaining detailed advice on this subject, please contact our Amye Aris at amyearis@newleafsolicitors.co.uk or call us and we will be happy to advise you.