Lasting Power of Attorney
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Without a Lasting Power of Attorney being in place, should you lose your mental capacity your loved ones may not be able to look after your financial affairs. The Lasting Power of Attorney can only be made when someone has mental capacity. It cannot be filled out retrospectively, so delaying the decision to make a LPA could have serious consequences. The only option left would be to apply to the court for a Deputy-ship Order which would take a considerable amount of time, cost and emotional hardship at an already difficult time. Anyone can lose their mental capacity – old and young. The Lasting Power of Attorney must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before it can be used. The Office of the Public Guaradian charge a fee, £110 from October 1st 2013, to register a Lasting Power of Attorney, but some Donors are entitled to a fee exemption or remission if they meet certain qualifying criteria.

Subject Includes

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document where you (the Donor) appoint an Attorney to look after your affairs and to make decisions on your behalf should you become unable to do so. This may be due to an accident, disability, or the onset of an illness such as Alzheimer’s or Dementia or after suffering a stroke.   The document can be “registered”, which upon confirmation from the court – the LPA is in effect and provides immediate cover should it be required.  The document can also be “unregistered” which means that whilst you have agreed who should handle your affairs should the need arise – you have not chosen to inform the court at this time.  Should the need suddenly arise, the document can be sent to the court and in most circumstances the court will approve is around 6-8 weeks time.

 

There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney:-

  1. Property and Affairs – this allows you to appoint someone to look after your financial affairs. This can include your property, your bank accounts and related assets.

  2. Personal Welfare – this allows you to appoint someone to look after you and your personal welfare and healthcare.


A Cautionary Tale:

A client came to see me because his wife had had a catastrophic stroke. There was no warning or previous medical concerns – it just happened. Their accounts were jointly held but the bank had restricted access to them as one of the account holders lacked capacity. The client asked me to put in place a Lasting Power of Attorney for his wife. Unfortunately I had to explain that it was too late as she already lacked capacity. The only option for the client was to apply to the court for a deputyship order. So we made the application, he paid my fee, the court costs, for an independent mental health capacity assessment, and an insurance bond to the court – grand total £2700. Seven months later the court appointed him as a deputy.