Lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a legal document made between a donor – the person who gives power of attorney – and people the donor appoints as attorneys to manage their affairs.
An LPA can be made by anyone aged 18 or over who has the mental capacity to act for themselves.
There are two different types of LPA which can be made – one relates to the management of finances and property, and the other to the health and welfare of the donor.
A donor can choose different attorneys for each LPA, to ensure that the best people are chosen to care for them if they are unable to care for themselves, or to handle their financial affairs.
Choosing attorneys can be a difficult process – and it is best to take expert legal advice to make sure that attorneys are able to fulfil the wishes of the donor, and have any necessary expertise to handle finances effectively, or are able to either care for a person or arrange care.
Deciding who you wish to care for you or handle you finances and property affairs is the first stage – and once the chosen individuals have agreed, it is necessary to complete an official form, which has to be lodged with the Office of the Public Guardian. Once the form has been lodged, it may take up to ten weeks for the LPA to become officially registered.
There is usually a fee to register each LPA.
An LPA relating to care and welfare can only be used once a donor becomes incapacitated and unable to act for themselves – however, an LPA relating to finances and property can be used as soon as the LPA is officially registered.
For this reason, it is advisable to consider appointing a solicitor to help manage finances and advise on care decisions – more than one attorney can be appointed for each LPA and appointing a solicitor can help alleviate the burden of making decisions from family members who may not know about access to care, or financial or property law.
Duncan Lewis Wills and Probate solicitors can advise on LPA – and are uniquely placed to help clients in this area, as Duncan Lewis is also a well-respected firm of family lawyers, with extensive experience in advising on the care of vulnerable or elderly patients, child care matters and Court of Protection cases.
Duncan Lewis is also the UK’s largest provider of Legal Aid mental health services and is therefore well placed to advise on LPA in the event of mental incapacity and access to care services, including advising on access to welfare benefits and Carer’s Allowance.
Our Wills and Probate solicitors offer competitively-priced fixed fees for arranging Lasting Power of Attorney, whenever possible.
For expert legal advice on lasting power of attorney, call Duncan Lewis Wills and Probate solicitors in confidence on 0333 772 0409.