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 a number of steps:
- You book a meeting with a lawyer and discuss your preferences
- Your lawyer will complete the Lasting Power of Attorney forms
- Your lawyer will send you the forms to sign and return
- Once signed, your lawyer will send the forms to the other parties required to sign
- 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 by the Office of the Public Guardian 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.
The process of making and registering a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) can take a number of weeks. However, once registered, your Lasting Power of Attorney can be used:
- For Finance/Property LPAs – as soon as it has been registered, with your permission
- For Health/Care LPAs – if you lose mental capacity
Q: Can I make a Lasting Power of Attorney without the help of a lawyer?
A: Yes, you can. It’s possible to download the LPA forms and print them, or fill them in on the screen and then print them. We would strongly advise against doing this however – from 2012 to 2015 the OPG received some 130,000 LPAs that contained mistakes that prevented them from being registered. At best, this can mean either:
- You have to resubmit the application with a fee, or
- If you lose mental capacity before the mistakes are rectified, the document is useless.
At worst, you might fill in the forms in such a way that they have unintended consequences or cannot be used. The Office of the Public Guardian check that the forms have been fully completed – they do not check whether the choices you have made could be problematic for you in the future. Sections 3, 4 and 7 in particular, whilst they may look simple, are areas that are easy to get wrong. A lawyer will also act as your Certificate Provider, saving you the trouble of paying another professional person to complete this part of the process.
Q: Can I make a Lasting Power of Attorney if I already have an Enduring Power of Attorney?
A: Yes you can. The old style Enduring Powers of Attorney only covered finance and property decisions, so it is advisable to make a Health and Care Lasting Power of Attorney as a minimum.
However, some people who already made a Financial Enduring Power of Attorney decide to replace it with a new Lasting Power of Attorney. There are many advantages to this – the most obvious being that if you have an Enduring Power of Attorney and you lose mental capacity, your Attorneys then have to register the document before they can use it. This can take several weeks – longer if your attorneys need to provide medical evidence to support the registration. In the meantime, your Attorneys will be unable to act for you which includes accessing funds to pay for bills and care fees.
By contrast, a Lasting Power of Attorney is registered after it has been made and can be used as soon as it is registered with your permission – whether or not you have lost mental capacity. This has two consequences:
If you ever need your Attorneys to help with finances – perhaps because you are away, in hospital or simply struggling to manage – they can do this without any delay.
If you do lose mental capacity, the document can be used immediately – there is no waiting around for weeks or months while the document is registered.
Get in touch
We have prepared a free, useful information pack on making a Lasting Power of Attorney. Get in touch for your free copy.