Lasting Power of Attorney (LPAs)

Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) enable you to legally empower people you trust, (family and/or friends) to manage your affairs when you are unable to do so yourself.

Why are they important to have at any adult age?

Usually when a person has lost mental capacity, relatives who are simply trying to help will find themselves shut out by many institutions, including banks, pension providers and utility companies.

A husband or wife can even find themselves locked out of a joint account, if their spouse has lost capacity!

You need to have mental capacity to be able to make an LPA. You are giving someone who cares about you the ability to make decisions for you in the event that you are no longer able to do so.

Many people believe that this is only a document for older people, but this is not the case. Brain injuries, strokes and accidents happen at all ages.

We hope that nobody will ever need to use your LPA, but we want to ensure that if they do, you have one.

What are Lasting Powers of Attorney documents?

Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) documents give the people that you chose as your attorneys (usually adult children, other family members or friends) the ability to make decision for you should you ever be in a position where you are unable to do this for yourself. These trusted people become your “attorneys”.

Lasting Powers of Attorney have to be written before any problem arises though – like insurance, for example. You can’t buy it to cover you for a problem which has already happened.

We help you through the setting up of these documents and explain to all involved what each stage means so every party understands their role.

What options are available?

There are two Lasting Powers of Attorney documents available to you:

Property & Finance covers all affairs concerning your property(ies) and your finances. For example, it can be used if your loved one needs to:

  • access your bank accounts (including opening, closing and using the accounts)
  • make or sell investments that you have
  • claim, receive and manage your pension
  • claim, receive and manage any state benefits that you have
  • pay any of your bills or other expenses
  • sell your house, or even buy another house in your name (for example as an investment)

Health & Welfare allows your attorneys to make decisions relating to your personal welfare and healthcare when you can’t make decisions for yourself. For example, it can be used if your loved ones need to:

  • make decisions about your daily routine (washing, dressing, eating)
  • make decisions about medical care
  • choose an appropriate care home for you and your needs
  • make decisions about life-sustaining medical treatment

There is a misconception that this LPA will allow people to take choices away from an individual.

This LPA can only be used if you are unable to make these decisions for yourself.

These two LPAs are far more flexible than the old Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) documents.

What happens if I choose not to have an LPA?

If you lose mental capacity and have NOT made an LPA, the only option for your relatives is to apply to the Court of Protection.

This is a costly, time consuming and fairly unpleasant procedure. It also does not guarantee that your relatives will be the ones that the court appoints to make decisions for you. The person who is appointed is called a Deputy and before a court will appoint a Deputy they will check into the applicants personal information, their finances and the relationship with the person they will be looking after. Even when a Deputy is appointed they will need to submit annual accounts to the Court and have periodical visits from a Court Visitor.

It’s likely to take up to a year and cost £3,000-£4,500 with additional annual fees as well! Acting now is a fraction of the cost and virtually hassle-free.

It should also be noted that when applying for an LPA through the Court of Protection, except in extreme cases, you will only be able to apply for the Property and Finance LPA.

People involved in your LPAs

Before making an LPA, you will need to decide who you want to make decisions on your behalf. Someone who will act on your behalf is called an attorney. You can choose two levels of attorney. Your main attorney(s) and replacement attorneys. For a married couple, most people choose their spouse to be their main attorney. Often, people will then choose their children as replacement attorneys. Replacement attorneys act when the main attorney is no longer able to act as an attorney.

Of course, not all people are married and not everyone has children, so your attorneys and replacement attorneys can be anyone that you choose who you feel will carry out your wishes. Your attorney could be any family member, a friend or someone else that you trust to act on your behalf. The person that you choose as an attorney must be at least 18 years old and should not have been made bankrupt.