What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal instrument created by a person (the donor) to grant another person or persons (the attorney or attorneys) authority to act on their behalf.
Are there different types of LPA?
There are two types of LPA:
When can an LPA be used?
The property and financial affairs LPA can be used as soon as it is registered and continues should you lose capacity. The health and welfare LPA can only be used once you have lost capacity.
Now I have an LPA can I not make my own decisions?
You can continue to make your own decisions for as long as you retain mental capacity.
How many attorneys can I appoint?
There is no limit on the number of attorneys you can appoint.
What happens if I don’t make an LPA?
If you don’t make an LPA no one can act on your behalf. If you lose capacity and have no health and welfare LPA, decisions regarding your care will be made by your doctor who will consider the opinions of those interested in your welfare. If you lose capacity and have no property and financial affairs LPA, a deputy may need to be appointed by the Court of Protection to be able to manage your finances if they are inaccessible. This application is more costly and onerous than making an LPA.
What does mental capacity mean?
Mental capacity is your ability to make a decision about a particular matter at the time the decision needs to be made. To make a decision you must be able to consider the relevant information, evaluate the different options, and make a choice. There must also be intention to make that decision shown by understanding you are making a specific LPA for a specific purpose and understanding the consequences of this.
How do I choose my attorney?
Your attorney must be over the age of 18 and have mental capacity. Your attorney for property and financial affairs cannot be subject to a Debt Relief Order or have been made bankrupt.
Aside from this you can choose anyone who you would be happy to make decisions for you to act as your attorney. You should consider whether you trust them, how well you know them, whether they have the expertise to manage your affairs and if you trust them to act in your best interests.
If I have more than one attorney, how do they make decisions?
You can choose whether your attorney’s act jointly, jointly and severally, or jointly on some matters and severally on others. If your attorneys act jointly they must agree to each act done or decision made on your behalf and must both sign documents on your behalf. If your attorneys act jointly and severally they can make decisions together or independently. If you would like all attorneys to have to agree on some matters you can appoint them to act jointly on these decisions and severally on other decisions.
How do I register my LPA?
The complete and signed LPA is sent to the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). The OPG charge a fee of £82 for registration of each LPA.
Can a couple have a joint LPA?
No, but a couple can have LPAs which mirrors each other’s, e.g. both appointing each other and children as their attorneys. A separate document for each person will be needed.
What happens if my attorney dies?
The death of an attorney revokes their appointment. If they are your sole attorney or all attorneys are appointed jointly this will revoke your LPA unless a replacement attorney has been appointed in the LPA. If your attorneys are appointed jointly and severally, any remaining attorneys can continue to act under the terms of the LPA.
Can I cancel my LPA?
While you have mental capacity you can cancel (revoke) your LPA expressly by a deed of revocation or destroying the LPA, or impliedly by an unambiguous act which is consistent with the continued operation of the power, such as making a new LPA.
I already have an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA), do I still need a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)?
An EPA allows your attorney to deal with matters relating to property and affairs only, and not health and welfare. An EPA also does not allow your attorneys to deal with any assets which are held by discretionary fund managers.
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