Lasting Power of Attorney
Retain control over your affairs
Without a doubt, sudden changes to your mental and physical health can impact your capacity to make decisions for yourself. Clearly, it is important to everyone to remain in control of their own affairs. This is the purpose of a Lasting Power of Attorney. Because you assign trusted family members or friends to help manage your estate and affairs, it allows you to retain control.
What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
The definition of a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that allows someone to make decisions for you, or act on your behalf. In the case that you are no longer able to so yourself.
Firstly, they are designed to protect you during your lifetime. Capacity can be lost at any age through accident or illness, thus meaning LPA’s are not just for the elderly. Although you must be over the age of 18 to make an LPA.
Secondly, LPA’s allow people you know and trust the power to act on your behalf and make decisions for you. The people appointed to manage your affairs are called the attorneys. LPA’s can be used in the event of capacity loss at any stage in your life. A lasting power of attorney is a completely separate legal document to your Will. However many people make them at the same time as their will, as part of planning for the future.
See below for the types of LPA available and the benefits they provide. Alternatively, a full overview can be found in our services booklet which you can download here.
LPA’s are your way of giving people you know and trust, the power to act on your behalf. Only if you lose the capacity to do so yourself at any stage in your life. Besides choosing your attorneys, you may impose restrictions if you so wish, however this is unusual. It should be noted that attorneys have a strict legal duty to act in your best interest at all times. In order to draw up a lasting power of attorney you must have full mental capacity. Therefore it should be done sooner rather than later as you never know what the future holds.
How to make a Lasting Power of Attorney
Firstly, LPA’s are prepared and signed by all relevant parties, including you, all your attorneys and your Certificate Provider. This is the person who certifies that you understand what you are doing and that you are not being coerced. They understand that there is no reason why the LPA should not be done.
Secondly, in order to use them, LPA’s must be sent to and registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/office-of-the-public-guardian
There is a registration fee of £82 per document and this is payable direct to the OPG.
We always recommend you register your LPA’s when you make them as this saves time and inconvenience further down the line. Once registered an LPA can be used as and when it is needed.
At EPS we offer a full lasting power of attorney service. We arrange and prepare all your documentation for you, obtaining the necessary signatures from your attorneys and certificate provider. Should you choose to register your LPA’s when you make them, we can deal with the registration for you also.