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Lasting power of Attorney (Lpa)
Lasting Power of Attorney Solicitors North Wales & Cheshire
No one wants to think about what would happen if they lost the mental capacity to make decisions about their own affairs, or about the impact it would have on our loved ones.
But we should all make clear plans for the future.
How you want to be cared for, and who you would want to make decisions for you, are extremely important things to consider. Furthermore, your wishes can only be given legal status if they are set up in advance.
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document used to nominate someone else, or a number of people, to look after your affairs in the event of you losing the capacity to do so yourself. This is the updated version of the existing Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA) that covered only a person's finances.
There are actually two types of Lasting Power of Attorney. They are separate legal documents that are independent of each other and you’ll need to arrange both if you want all aspects of your life to be covered by this area of law.
There is one LPA for matters relating to finance and property and another for health and welfare.
The health and welfare LPA allows the nominated individual to make decisions over your healthcare and medical treatments. It does not mean this person will also gain control over your financial affairs. A key difference between this LPA and the financial one is that it only comes into effect after you lose the mental capacity to look after your own affairs.
The financial LPA allows a person, or people, you trust to make decisions about your assets, property and financial affairs such as paying bills and collecting benefits on your behalf. The nominated person, known as the ‘Attorney’, will be able to look after your property and financial affairs while you still have mental capacity, as well as in the event you lack the mental capacity.
Why set up a Lasting Power of Attorney?
If you lose mental capacity, and you haven’t completed the Power of Attorney forms, your loved ones will need to apply through court to become your 'deputy'.
This is a long and expensive process and requires providing accounts to the Court of Protection every year.
To have control over who will manage your affairs if you become unable to do so, and to avoid unnecessary complications in the future for the person who would be responsible for you at that time, it makes sense to set up a lasting power of attorney long before it may be needed.
What's the difference between a Lasting Power of Attorney and a General Power of Attorney?
A general Power of Attorney becomes invalid or ineffective when you lose your mental capacity or die.
A Lasting Power of Attorney for finance can come into action as soon as it has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. A Lasting Power of Attorney for health comes into action when you lose your mental capacity.
Who needs a Lasting Power of Attorney?
There is no age range or specific type of person that needs a lasting power of attorney.
No matter what your current health condition is, things can happen quickly and unexpectedly.
It is often those with older family members, or family members with signs of progress mental disorders such as dementia or Alzheimer's disease, that are considering putting a lasting power of attorney in place.
However, young people can, unfortunately, lose mental capacity through an accident, so in truth, everyone over the age of 18 should consider setting one up.
How much do LPA's cost?
In England and Wales the compulsory cost to register a Power of Attorney is £82.
It's £82 each for the property and finance LPA and the health and welfare LPA, so if you get both, that's £164.
The legal cost involved in preparing the document for you in line with your specific circumstances are:
- £300 + VAT and disbursements for one lasting power of attorney
- £450 + VAT and disbursements for both the health and financial LPAs
- £600 + VAT and disbursements for a couple who took out both the finance one and health one for each of them
What happens if someone loses the mental capacity to look after their own affairs before preparing a Lasting Power of Attorney?
If someone is unable to make decisions about their own affairs but did not set up a Lasting Power of Attorney in advance, the carers will need to apply to the Court of Protection to have a deputy appointed that way instead.
Having a Lasting Power of Attorney in place means that the nominated person, or people, will not have to go to court in order to get permission to manage your affairs, while they are also dealing with the other emotional and financial impacts of your situation.
How do I set up a Lasting Power of Attorney?
To set up a Lasting Power of Attorney simply contact the family law solicitors at PSR Solicitors today.
We’ll handle everything you need to ensure that you and your family have the power to look after your best interests in the event you lose the mental capacity to deal with those aspects yourself.
Please either call the phone number at the top of this page, or leave your details using the enquiry form and we’ll call you back.
Registering an LPA
Before a Lasting Power of Attorney can be used it must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.
After registration, a Property and Welfare LPA can be used immediately but a Health and Welfare LPA can only be used if/when you are not mentally capable of making your own decisions.
In the Power of Attorney forms, you'll be asked to give details of the people you wish to appoint, your ‘Attorneys’, and the capacity in which you want them to act (jointly or 'jointly and severally').
You can appoint one or more persons to act as your attorney.
These are usually the closest people to you. Those who you trust to manage your affairs and make decisions about your care, welfare and finances.
If you name more than one attorney, you must state whether they will act jointly, whereby all decisions must be made together or jointly and severally allowing them to each act alone. Jointly and severally provides the added flexibility, for example, if your Attorneys do not live near each other.
How is mental capacity judged?
A Lasting Power of Attorney set out who will determine whether the LPA needs to be invoked based on your mental capacity at the relevant time. It is usually a doctor, social worker or solicitor.
They will determine if you can make decisions on your own based on the following criteria:
- Can you understand the information you need in order to make the decision?
- Can you remember that information for long enough to make the decision?
- Can you assess that information well enough to make the decision?
- Can you communicate your decision?
If it is decided that you cannot manage the above, it will be deemed that you do not have the mental capacity to manage your affairs and your LPA could be invoked.
Talk to a Power of Attorney Solicitors today
We offer a first, free consultation over the phone or in-person with no-obligation, with our Lasting Power of Attorney Solicitors in Wrexham, Rhyl, Colwyn Bay, Shotton (Deeside) and in Cheshire (Ellesmere Port). Contact us today by calling the number at the top of this page or by leaving your contact details using the enquiry form.
You’ll have the opportunity to discuss your situation, ask any questions you may have and hear expert advice from a family law specialist.
With offices in Wrexham, Colwyn Bay, Rhyl, Shotton (Deeside) and Ellesmere Port, PSR are a leading firm of Family Solicitors in Wales and Cheshire. We regularly prepare lasting powers of attorney for clients across North Wales, Cheshire, Merseyside, and Liverpool.
We will respond to any query within one hour of normal office hours, or the next working day if you contact us during the evening or at the weekend.
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