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Lasting Power of Attorney

Plan in case you lose the ability to manage your own affairs.

Are you looking for a Lasting Power of Attorney for someone who has already lost mental capacity? If so, you need a Deputyship Order – click here to find out more.

If you are thinking about making a Lasting Power of Attorney for yourself, read on.

Download PDFIf you had a serious accident or stroke, or you developed dementia, you may not be able to manage your finances or make decisions about your care. A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) gives someone of your choice the ability to act on your behalf, should you be unable to act yourself.

There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney – one for financial decisions (including property) and the other for health and care decisions. Both must be registered before they are valid. This guide explains why everyone aged 18 or older should have both types of Lasting Power of Attorney, and how you can go about making them.

If you have any questions or would like to book a free appointment, just call our team on 08700 120 130 or email info@aprilking.co.uk. Our headquarters are in Nottingham and we have offices across the East and West Midlands.

In this guide:

“Why do I need a Lasting Power of Attorney?”

LPA woman in wheelchair

Dementia, stroke or brain injury due to an accident can affect people of any age.

We associate losing mental capacity with old age but in fact, this can affect anybody at any point during their life. For example, did you know:

  • One in four strokes in the UK happen in people under the age of 65 (Stroke Association)
  • An estimated 42,000 people under the age of 65 in the UK have dementia – more than 5 per cent of all those with dementia (Alzheimer’s Society)
  • Accidents can affect anybody at any time, rendering them unable to manage their own affairs.

Many people assume that their partner will automatically be able to take over handling their finances and make decisions for them, but this is not the case. Sometimes the bank will even freeze a joint account and refuse to allow access to funds when one party becomes incapacitated – even if the funds are needed to pay for their care.

Everyone aged 18 or over should have both types of Lasting Power of Attorney in place. Rather than leave the choice of who will be making decisions for you to chance, you can make a Lasting Power of Attorney now and decide for yourself who you’d like to be in charge of your affairs.

“…Someone in the world develops dementia every 3 seconds.”
~ World Alzheimer Report 2015

Get in touch

We have prepared a free, helpful information pack on making a Lasting Power of Attorney. Click here to receive your copy. You can also call us for your pack on 08700 120 130 or email info@aprilking.co.uk.

Visit us

We have 19 offices across the Midlands and offer a free appointment without obligation. We can also cater for home visits. Just call us on 08700 120 130 or email info@aprilking.co.uk to make an appointment with your nearest office.

“What happens if I don’t have a Lasting Power of Attorney?”

You will need a Deputyship Order if you don't have a Lasting Power of Attorney

Applying for a Deputyship Order is a long, complex and expensive process.

If you do lose mental capacity and you don’t have a Lasting Power of Attorney, someone will have to apply to the Court of Protection for a “Deputyship Order”. The person who applies may not be the person you would have chosen yourself. The application process is lengthy and expensive. Once an order is granted, that person (who is called a ‘Deputy’) can make decisions for you, which might include:

  • Paying bills and expenses on your behalf.
  • Deciding how your day is organised.
  • Deciding how you receive care.
  • Deciding if your home will be sold.

The Deputy must always act in your best interests, but abuse does happen – including theft, fraud, misuse of property, possessions or benefits, undue pressure and neglect (OPG, 2015). This is one reason why making a Lasting Power of Attorney and nominating someone you trust to manage your affairs is a sensible choice.

Applying for a Deputyship Order is a long, complex and often intrusive process. It is also expensive. There are application fees, assessment fees, legal fees and potentially hearing fees – plus an ongoing annual supervision fee.

The best advice is, don’t let it get to this stage. Making a Lasting Power of Attorney is a much simpler, cheaper and quicker way to elect somebody you trust to manage your affairs should you be unable to do so yourself.

Two thirds of the 21,935 reports of financial abuse against the elderly made last year involved accusations against family and friends.

~ Health and Social Care Information Centre

“But I’m not ill!”

Road traffic accident

Anyone could fall ill or have an accident, at any time – and then it may be too late to make a Lasting Power of Attorney.

Younger people often assume that Lasting Powers of Attorney are for the ill or elderly, but this is a common mistake. It’s crucial to understand that you can’t set up a Lasting Power of Attorney once you lose mental capacity.  So, for example, if you were in an accident tomorrow and lost mental capacity, nobody would be able to manage your affairs without a Deputyship Order – not even your partner or grown-up children.

Once completed, Lasting Powers of Attorney can take a substantial amount of time to register – 10 to 12 weeks is typical. Until they are registered, they cannot be used. So it’s wise to start the process as soon as possible.

People think, ‘I’m not ill, why do I need to make a Power of Attorney?’. But they’re missing the point. This is a document that has to be done in advance.

~ Paul King, TEP, April King Nottingham Office

Don’t leave things to chance – get in touch

We have prepared a free, informative pack on making a Lasting Power of Attorney. Click here to receive your copy. You can also call us for your pack on 08700 120 130 or email info@aprilking.co.uk.

Visit us

April King Legal has 19 offices across the Midlands and we offer a free appointment without obligation. We can also cater for home visits. Just call us on 08700 120 130 or email info@aprilking.co.uk to make an appointment with your nearest office.

“What exactly is a Lasting Power of Attorney?”

Your Lasting Power of Attorney can be used while you are staying in hospital

You can choose to use your Finance Lasting Power of Attorney any time you need help managing your finances, even though you haven’t lost mental capacity.

There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney and it is advisable to have both.

The Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney can be used for decisions such as:

  • Paying household, care and other bills.
  • Claiming, receiving and using benefits, pensions and allowances.
  • Making or selling investments.
  • Buying or selling your home.

This type of Lasting Power of Attorney is a very convenient document that can be used if:

  • You lose mental capacity because of illness or injury.
  • You are away from home and want someone to handle a problem for you.
  • You are in hospital and want someone else to manage your affairs.

In fact, this document can be used any time after it has been registered, with your permission (even though you have not lost mental capacity).

The Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney can be used for decisions such as:

  • The type of medical care you receive.
  • Whether you stay in your home or move into residential care.
  • What you eat from day to day.
  • Your daily routine – dressing, going out etc.

This document can only be used (once registered) if you have lost mental capacity and are unlikely to make a recovery within a reasonable time.

Ask yourself who you would want to make these type of decisions if you could not make them yourself.

For many of us, there will be an obvious choice – a partner or a grown-up child who we trust. But without a Lasting Power of Attorney, this person will have no power to make those decisions for us from day-to-day. Of course, they could apply for a Deputyship Order, but they may be unable to take on this responsibility and someone else may be given the power instead. All of this can be avoided by making a Lasting Power of Attorney.

“How much does it cost to make a Lasting Power of Attorney?”

April King Lasting Power of Attorney

Our fees are highly competitive in comparison with other firms.

The Office of the Public Guardian charges £110 to register each Lasting Power of Attorney. This fee applies to both types of Lasting Power of Attorney, so if you have both a Finance and a Health Lasting Power of Attorney, the total application fees will be £220.

If you receive certain means tested benefits, you may be exempt from paying the fee – or if your income is less than £12,000 before tax, you may get a reduction. You will need to provide proof of income and/or benefits to be entitled to the concession.

In addition to the application fees, you will need to pay for the cost of any legal advice you receive. Fees can vary a great deal between lawyers, with some charging up to £1,000.

Our fees are £240 + VAT for a Lasting Power of Attorney (Finance or Health) or for new clients who are also making a Will with us, £400 + VAT for both types of Lasting Power of Attorney (Finance & Health).

Get in touch

We have prepared a free, useful information pack on making a Lasting Power of Attorney. Click here to receive your copy. You can also call us for your free pack on 08700 120 130 or email info@aprilking.co.uk.

Visit us

We have 19 offices throughout the Midlands and offer you a free appointment without obligation. We can also cater for home visits. Just call us on 08700 120 130 or email info@aprilking.co.uk to make an appointment with your nearest office.

“What does it mean to have ‘mental capacity’?”

Mental capacity - making a decision

‘Mental capacity’ is about being able to make your own decisions. You won’t be able to make a Lasting Power of Attorney if you lose mental capacity.

You’ll hear the term ‘mental capacity’ a lot when you’re reading about Lasting Powers of Attorney. Most of us make decisions daily about every aspect of our lives. Being able to make these decisions is called mental capacity.

Illness, injury or various conditions prevent us from making decisions, or mean that we cannot make all of the decisions ourselves. For example, learning disabilities, brain injuries, dementia or a stroke can all impact our ability to make decisions.

However, some people get confused with the term ‘mental capacity’, thinking that it refers to mental illness. Having a mental health condition does not necessarily mean that a person lacks capacity. Just because they are suffering from depression, schizophrenia or bipolar, for example, does not prevent them from making decisions for themselves.

The law actually defines under what circumstances someone lacks mental capacity. The Mental Capacity Act 2005 says:

“…a person lacks capacity in relation to a matter if at the material time he is unable to make a decision for himself in relation to the matter because of an impairment of, or a disturbance in the functioning of, the mind or brain.”

The Act further explains that a person is unable to make decisions for themselves if they cannot:

  • understand the information relevant to the decision,
  • retain that information,
  • use or weigh that information as part of the process of making the decision, or
  • communicate their decision (whether by talking, using sign language or any other means).

When you make a Lasting Power of Attorney, you must have mental capacity. A ‘Certificate Provider’ will sign to certify that you are capable of making the choice. Often, this will be the lawyer that you are preparing the document with – but it can also be someone you’ve known for two years or someone with relevant professional skills such as a social worker or doctor.

If you don’t make a Lasting Power of Attorney and a Deputyship Order is required, there are a lot of forms which must be submitted in a very specific order. These include an Assessment of Capacity form (COP3) to be completed by a suitable medical practitioner who will certify that you have lost mental capacity. The practitioner can be your GP, psychiatrist or approved mental health professional, social worker, psychologist, nurse, or occupational therapist. The whole process is lengthy and complex.

“How do I make a Lasting Power of Attorney?”

Lasting Power of Attorney forms

Lasting Power of Attorney forms.

A Financial Decisions Lasting Power of Attorney is made on form LP1F while a Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney is made on form LP1H.

The process involves three steps:

  • Find a suitable lawyer.
  • Go over the documents with your lawyer.
  • Your lawyer will then register the document with the Office of the Public Guardian.

The completed Lasting Power(s) of Attorney will usually be returned directly to your lawyer who will make a copy and send it on to you for storage. Some lawyers will store the document for you free of charge.

“Should I use a lawyer?”

Lawyer advising on Lasting Power of Attorney

A lawyer can ensure that your Lasting Power of Attorney works the way that you want it to.

You can make a Lasting Power of Attorney yourself without the help of a lawyer, but this is rather like drawing up your own Will. It is a very unwise decision that can have catastrophic consequences.

Using a lawyer to help you prepare your Lasting Power of Attorney gives you peace of mind. Your lawyer will make sure that you fully understand the choices you are making and that everything is prepared correctly.

If you submit a Lasting Power of Attorney with mistakes, the Office of the Public Guardian can refuse to approve it. If you write provisions in your Lasting Power of Attorney that are invalid, it will have to be referred to the Court of Protection in order to sever the invalid provisions. This all takes time and is both costly and inconvenient.

From 2012 to 2015 the Office of the Public Guardian received over a million applications to register a Lasting Power of Attorney. Of those, some 130,000 contained mistakes that prevented them from being registered. Using an experienced lawyer who specialises in this area of law helps ensure that those mistakes are avoided.

The April King Legal team are highly experienced in preparing and submitting Lasting Powers of Attorney. Our headquarters are in Nottingham and we have a total of 19 offices throughout the Midlands. Our fees are very competitive in comparison with other firms – we charge £240 + VAT for a Lasting Power of Attorney (Finance or Health) or for new clients who are also making a Will with us, £400 + VAT for both types of Lasting Power of Attorney (Finance & Health). Call us on 08700 120 130 or email info@aprilking.co.uk to arrange a free appointment without obligation.

“…it’s important to remember that a Lasting Power of Attorney is a serious, powerful document so, if in doubt, [you] may want to take legal advice.”

~  Lucy Malenczuk, Policy Adviser on Financial Services, Age UK

Get in touch

We have prepared a free information pack on making a Lasting Power of Attorney. Click here to receive your copy. You can also call us for your free pack on 08700 120 130 or email info@aprilking.co.uk.

Visit us

With 19 offices across the Midlands, there’s an April King office near you! We offer a free appointment without obligation and we can also cater for home visits. Just call us on 08700 120 130 or email info@aprilking.co.uk to make an appointment with your nearest office.

“Who should I choose to be my attorney?”

Parents with grown up children

You could choose your grown-up children to be your attorneys.

Anyone aged 18 or over can be your attorney including your partner, your grown-up children, other family members, close friends or a lawyer.

The  application forms have space for four attorneys but you can in fact have as many as you choose. However, consider that the more people you have, the more difficult it will be for them to reach an agreement!

You can decide whether your attorneys will be have to make decisions together, or whether they can make decisions individually. Assuming you are choosing people you trust, allowing them to making decisions on their own should not be a problem. If they have to make every decision collectively, this can cause considerable difficulties – especially if you have an even number of attorneys who simply cannot agree!

It’s also wise to name replacement attorneys in case your choice of attorneys are unable to act. If you appoint two or more attorneys and specify that they must make decisions jointly, then fail to nominate a replacement attorney, the Lasting Power of Attorney will no longer  be valid if one of them becomes unable or unwilling to act.

This is a good example of why it is important to use an experienced lawyer to prepare your Lasting Power of Attorney. There are many potential pitfalls that are not obvious from simply reading the form and although they do not always prevent the document from being registered, they can render the document invalid in the future.

“I have an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) – do I need a Lasting Power of Attorney?”

Lasting Powers of Attorney are a replacement for the Enduring Power of Attorney. If you made an Enduring Power of Attorney before these were replaced on 1st October 2007, it will still be valid, even if it has not been registered. Should you lose capacity, the Enduring Power of Attorney would then need to be registered by one of your nominated attorneys to be valid, at a cost of £110 unless you are entitled to help with the fees.  They won’t have to pay the fee if you receive certain means-tested benefits; or if your income is less than £12,000 before tax, the fee will be 50%.

An Enduring Power of Attorney only covers property and financial affairs, so you may want to consider making a Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney in addition. If you only have an Enduring Power of Attorney and lose capacity, it may be necessary to obtain a Deputyship Order.

Some people decide to replace their Enduring Power of Attorney with two new Lasting Powers of Attorney. The main benefits of getting both types of Lasting Power of Attorney if you already have an Enduring Power of Attorney are:

  • Enduring Powers of Attorney are registered once you lose capacity – Lasting Powers of Attorney are registered once they are made. There can be a delay of 8 to 10 weeks in registering the Enduring Power of Attorney during which time it cannot be used, and this period can be extended if a family member objects. In the meantime, nobody will be able to manage your affairs.
  • Lasting Powers of Attorney allow you to better manage who makes decisions for you if you are incapacitated – you do not have to choose the same people to make finance decisions as you do to make health decisions.

Enduring Powers of Attorney can be used with your permission if they are not registered, provided that you still have capacity. Property and Finance Lasting Powers of Attorney can also be used with your permission provided that you have capacity. For example, you could choose to use either document if you are in hospital or abroad for a period of time and want someone to handle your affairs temporarily. However, few banks ensure that their staff are fully trained on Powers of Attorney and it is likely that they will be more familiar with the newer form of Lasting Power of Attorney, which can help prevent unnecessary delays.

What now?

We have prepared a free, helpful guide on making a Lasting Power of Attorney. Click here to receive your copy. You can also call us for your pack on 08700 120 130 or email info@aprilking.co.uk.

Visit us

At April King, we have a team of lawyers and independent solicitors experienced in drafting and submitting Lasting Powers of Attorney. Our headquarters are in Nottingham and we have 19 offices across the Midlands. We would be happy to see you at your local office or visit you in your home if this is more convenient – just give us a call or email info@aprilking.co.uk.

Call us

Speak to us today

Phone
08700 120 130

Email
info@aprilking.co.uk

Book your free meeting with one of our lawyers: with absolutely no obligation

Home visits available: where this is more convenient (no additional charge)

Competitive pricing: £240 + VAT or for new clients also making a Will with us, £400 + VAT for both types of LPA.


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