Lasting Power of Attorney
What is a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)?
It is a document by which you appoint one or more people to be your Attorneys. An LPA is special because unlike other forms of Power of Attorney, the people you appoint to be your Attorneys can continue to act and look after your affairs even when you are not mentally able to do this yourself.
There are two types of LPA:
1) A Financial Affairs LPA by which you appoint people to look after your financial affairs
2) A Health and Welfare LPA by which you appoint people to look after your health and welfare in situations where you are not mentally capable of doing this yourself.
Why do you need one?
An LPA authorises your Attorneys either to look after your financial affairs for you or to make decisions regarding your Health and Welfare. Your Attorneys can act with regards to your financial affairs on your behalf because you do not want to or because you are not able to. However, your attorneys with regard to your Health and Welfare can only act on your behalf if you are not able to make decisions yourself. For example, if you go into hospital or stay in a nursing home, your Attorneys can collect your income and benefits for you and pay your bills.
Who should you choose?
You will be giving your Attorneys a very responsible position. It is, therefore, very important that you choose someone to be your Attorney whom you trust to look after your affairs for you. You must remember that your Attorneys will have access to your savings and bank accounts and will potentially be making decisions regarding your medical Treatment.
You can appoint more than one person to act for you, and you can specify that they must either act together or can act separately.
You may wish to appoint a solicitor as your attorney. Appointing a professional Attorney can give you the peace of mind of knowing that your affairs are being looked after by a qualified person who is looking after your interests.
At Rudlings Wakelam we have extensive experience of looking after people’s financial affairs and any of the partners here at Rudlings Wakelam would be willing to act for you.
How do you appoint an Attorney?
If after reading this you decide that you want to go ahead, then simply contact us to make an appointment.
You will need to decide who you wish to appoint to be you Attorneys. Remember, they may not want to do this so you must ask them first.
Even once the LPA has been signed by you and your Attorney it will not come into force until it is registered at the Office of the Public Guardian.
A Health and Welfare LPA can only be used if you are not mentally capable of making your own decisions, even if it is registered.
You will need to name someone who can certify that you understand the consequences of signing an LPA. This can either be someone who is qualified to give this certificate (such as a Doctor or Solicitor) or someone who has known you personally for more than two years and who is prepared to give this certificate. For most clients we are able to offer this service for no extra charge
When is the LPA registered?
Your LPA can be registered at any time after you have signed it. Your Attorneys can not act until your LPA is registered. You may choose not to register straight away. This can give you the peace of mind of knowing that you have in place an LPA but that it cannot be used without your knowledge.
You can choose to register your LPA at any time or your Attorneys can do this either with your authorisation or if you are not asked to give such authorisation if they need to act on your behalf.
Can you change your mind?
You can change your mind about the people you want to be your Attorneys at any time, even after registration so long as you understand what you are doing. Simply call us and we will prepare a deed of revocation for you.