What Is a Lasting Power Of Attorney?
A lasting power of attorney, also known as an LPA, is a legal document that allows you to appoint one or more people to make decisions and/or act on your behalf in regards to your property and finances, and also your health and care.
LPAs are generally put in place so that they can be used if you were to ever lose mental capacity or become incapacitated by an accident or illness. Whilst not something any of us like to think about, a loss of capacity, whether temporary or permanent, can have far reaching adverse consequences upon your personal or business affairs for you, your family or your business colleagues. Therefore, it is recommended to have one in place in case the worst were to happen.
LPAS are also occasionally used, in relation to a person’s financial affairs in cases where one still has capacity. For example if you are out of the country and unable to act, although a general power of attorney may be of use as a short term solution instead. Please see our separate information sheet on general powers of attorney.
Who can make decisions on my behalf under an LPA?
LPAs allow those appointed, known as your ‘attorney(s)’, to act where you cannot yourself. As mentioned above, there are many reasons as to why someone may need to step in and this is often due to sudden and unforeseen circumstances.
For there to be an attorney or attorneys appointed, the attorney must be over the age of 18, not be bankrupt and have mental capacity. A maximum of 4 attorney(s) are appointed in each LPA.
It is advisable for your attorney(s) to be individuals you trust and these can be either family members, friends or even a professional.
What decisions can be made on my behalf?
- Property and financial affairs – attorney(s) may deal with your bank accounts, investments pensions, business interests or matters relating to a property or properties that you own, for example.
- Health and care – attorney(s) may make decisions on medical treatment and care you are to receive, including whether to receive life-sustaining treatment and where you should live.
The decisions that the attorney(s) can make can be altered depending on your wishes and limits on powers can be included in the LPAs if that is preferred.
Why make an LPA?
If you do not have one or both of the LPAs mentioned above, and you were in a position where you were unable to make decisions yourself be that due to loss of mental capacity, being incapacitated or otherwise, an application would need to be made to the Court of Protection. This application would be for someone to be formally appointed to manage your affairs, this person is known as a ‘deputy’.
The process of appointing a deputy is often protracted and expensive. The end result of such an application could also lead to someone being appointed that you would not have chosen to deal with your affairs and this could have an impact on the decisions that are made on your behalf.
How do you create an LPA?
The general process is for information to be provided that will allow us to draft the LPA, or LPAs, if you wish for both to be created. The LPAs are then signed by you, the certificate provider and all other the parties named.
The certificate provider is an independent third party such as a solicitor, medical professional or friend, who has known you for at least two years.
The certificate provider signs the LPA to certify that you have the must certify that you have the required mental capacity to execute the LPA at that time and that you have not been unduly influenced by another party when signing the LA. We may be able to act as certificate provider, but this will depend on your specific circumstances.
Following the LPA(s) being signed by all parties, these are sent to the Office o the Public Guardian for registration.
Our Power of Attorney Team is part of EMW Wealth. Take a look at the EMW Wealth Brochure here.
Get in Touch
Our team are experienced in advising on all matters relating to general powers of attorney. Should you have any queries in relation to any of the points mentioned within this information sheet please do not hesitate to get in touch with Daniel Wilson.
The information contained in this leaflet is or general information purposes only and is not legal advice, which will depend on your specific circumstances. © 2021 EMW Law LLP