Lasting Power of Attorney

Sheffield | Rotherham | Nottinghamshire

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Estate Planning Solicitors in London

What do I need to do to prepare?

Whilst it is strongly recommended that you have both types of LPA, you can make a choice about whether to have a Financial and Property LPA and /or Health and Welfare LPA.

Please have the full name, date of birth and address of your proposed attorney(s).

Sheffield | Rotherham | Nottinghamshire

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Stay in control

There are two types of power of attorney, one covering property and financial issues and one covering health and welfare. In these documents you may select up to four people to act on your behalf.

Property and Financial Affairs

If you want someone to manage your financial affairs if you lose mental capacity, you will need this type of Lasting Power of Attorney (‘LPA’). It could also be useful if you become physically incapable.

An LPA covering property and financial affairs lets the people you choose (the attorneys) make decisions about:

  • Buying and selling your property.
  • Opening, closing, and operating bank/building society accounts.
  • Settling bills.
  • Claiming, receiving and using your benefits, pensions, and allowances.
Health and welfare

If you want someone to manage your care and welfare affairs if you lose mental capacity, you will need this type of Lasting Power of Attorney (‘LPA’). It could also be useful if you become physically incapable. The range of decisions covered by the health and welfare LPA includes:

  • Where you should live.
  • Your medical care.
  • What you should eat.
  • Who you should have contact with.
  • What kind of social activities you participate in.
The Court of Protection

If you lose mental capacity and have not completed an appropriate LPA, your relatives or friends can apply to the Court of Protection to be able to make any decision on your behalf as your ‘Deputy’.

Anyone can to be your Deputy. Usually it will be a family member or close friend, but a professional, such as one of our solicitors or an accountant, can do it as well (a charge will be made for the service). In certain cases, a local authority may also apply to be a Deputy as it will allow them to assess funds available for care.

Please bear in mind that once mental capacity for decision-making has been lost, there is no option but to apply to the Court of Protection, which will normally be a time consuming process, often lasting six months or more, during which time assets may be effectively frozen. It is also a relatively expensive procedure to go through when compared with obtaining an LPA. It is only on very rare occasions that a ‘Welfare Deputy’ will be appointed by the Court of Protection. We therefore ask clients to seriously consider obtaining both types of LPA in advance of reaching this point.

If you lose mental capacity without an LPA in place, your family must apply to the Court of Protection to have a deputy appointed to deal with everyday financial matters. This is a slow and very expensive process, costing thousands of Pounds. If you have to use a lawyer it could cost a lot more. If you already have an LPA in place, this will not be necessary.

This is one of the most important decisions you’ll ever make!

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Estate Planning Solicitors in London

“Taking Control of Your Future: Expert Guidance on Lasting Power of Attorney in Our Video Series.”

 

“Testimonial”

“We are grateful to Graham at Matrix Estate Planning for helping us arrange our lasting power of attorney. With his expertise, our wishes were legally protected and accurately captured. Graham’s professionalism and attention to detail made the process smooth and reassuring. We highly recommend Matrix Estate Planning for expert estate planning guidance.

Barry & Margaret | Sheffield

 

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How Does an Advanced Decision Interact with Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)?

Advanced decision/living will

Planning for your future care involves several essential legal documents, two of which are the Advanced Decision and Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). These tools empower individuals to make critical decisions about their healthcare, ensuring that their wishes are respected, even when they might not be able to express them directly. In this article, we’ll explore what an Advanced Decision is, how it interacts with LPA, and why they are important in the context of healthcare and end-of-life choices.

**What is an Advanced Decision (Living Will)?**

An Advanced Decision, often referred to as a “Living Will,” is a legal document that allows an individual to specify the medical treatments they do not want to receive in the future, should they become unable to communicate their preferences. It’s a way to ensure your voice is heard when you cannot speak for yourself. Advanced Decisions can cover a range of healthcare decisions, including life-sustaining treatments, such as resuscitation or artificial nutrition and hydration.

**How Does an Advanced Decision Interact with Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)?**

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is another crucial legal document that authorities someone you trust, known as an attorney, to make decisions on your behalf when you’re unable to do so. There are two types of LPAs in the UK: one for health and welfare and another for property and financial affairs.

The relationship between an Advanced Decision and LPA is important to understand. If you have both documents, the key distinction lies in the decision-making hierarchy:

1. **Advanced Decision**: Your Advanced Decision takes precedence over your LPA when it comes to decisions regarding healthcare and medical treatment. This means that even if you have appointed an attorney in your LPA for health and welfare, your clearly stated preferences in the Advanced Decision will be followed. It provides a legal shield to ensure your specific medical wishes are honored.

2. **Lasting Power of Attorney**: An LPA for health and welfare allows your attorney to make decisions about your care and treatment, but only in situations where your Advanced Decision does not apply or for decisions not covered by it.

It’s important to ensure that both documents work together seamlessly to safeguard your interests, as your attorney in the LPA can address healthcare matters that are not addressed in your Advanced Decision.

**Why Are These Documents Vital?**

The significance of Advanced Decisions and Lasting Power of Attorney documents cannot be overstated. They provide individuals with the peace of mind that their preferences regarding their healthcare and end-of-life decisions will be respected, no matter what the future holds. Additionally, these documents can help prevent disputes among family members and healthcare professionals, reducing the emotional burden during already challenging times.

In conclusion, Advanced Decisions and Lasting Power of Attorney documents are indispensable in taking control of your healthcare choices and protecting your interests in the UK. By understanding their roles and how they interact, you can make informed decisions about your future care, ensuring that your wishes are respected when you need it most.

 

 

The firms listed on our site must be regulated by one of the following bodies:
Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA), Bar Standards Board (BSB), Council for Licensed Conveyancers (CLC)Chartered Institute of Legal Executives (CILEX),
or
are members of the Institute of Professional Willwriters (IPW), the Society of Will Writers (SWW), or the Professional Paralegal Register (PPR). Regulation means they have to meet certain criteria, follow validated procedures and are accountable to that governing body.  

What is a lasting power-of-attorney? (LPA)

A lasting power-of-attorney is a legal document that allows you to appoint one or more people to make decisions on your behalf during your lifetime. The people you appoint to manage your affairs are called the attorneys. The lasting power of attorney is a separate legal document to your will, although many people put them in place at the same time as getting their will written, as part of planning for the future.

Without a lasting power-of-attorney in place there is no one with legal authority to manage your affairs, for example, to access bank accounts or investments in your name or sell your property on your behalf. Unfortunately, many people assume that their spouse, partner, or children will be able to take care of things, but, that simply isn’t the case.

In these circumstances, for Someone to obtain legal authority over your affairs, that person would need to apply to the court of protection and the court will decide on the person to be appointed to manage our affairs. The person chosen is appointed as your deputy. This is a very different type of attorney. In order to avoid having your relatives needing to go through a costly and complicated process of applying to the court of protection, consider making a lasting power-of-attorney.

There are two types of LPA you need both:

The health and welfare LPA: lets your attorney make decisions about your medical treatment and day-to-day care this can include where you live, what you eat, what medical treatment you receive and who you see.

Property and financial affairs LPA: lets your attorney handle and make decisions about your money and property. This can include paying your bills, selling your property, collecting your pension, and collecting your benefits.

Mirror lasting power-of-attorney documents

One solution for couples is to have mirror lasting power-of-attorney documents. As the name suggests, these documents will mirror one another, allowing each person to appoint the other to make decisions for them.

Once you have lasting power-of-attorney in place you can have peace of mind that there is someone you trust to look after your affairs if you become unable to do so yourself during your lifetime. This may occur, for example, because of an illness or old-age or an accident.

Having a lasting power-of-attorney in place, can allow your attorney to have authority to deal with your finances and property as well as make decisions about your health and welfare. Your lasting power-of-attorney can include instructions for your attorney, as well as your general preferences for them to consider. Your LPA should reflect your wishes.

Proving mental capacity when making a lasting power-of-attorney

The term mental capacity refers to an individual’s ability to make their own decisions, and an individual needs to arrive at the decision to put an LPA in place. This means they must fully understand what the document is, how it works and its implications. They must also be making their decisions independently and be able to communicate these decisions either verbally, using sign language or by some form of movement such as blinking or squeezing a hand. If someone has been diagnosed with a condition that will ultimately compromise their ability to make decisions, an assessment is to be carried out to determine whether they have the capacity to put an LPA in place.

Does a lasting power-of-attorney continue after death?

No, power-of-attorney does not continue after death. Once you die, your attorney will no longer have the authority to make decisions on your behalf. Instead, this responsibility will fall to the executors of the administrators of your estate.

Who can witness a lasting power-of-attorney?

Only an independent adult can witness your LPA.

Therefore, none of your attorneys can act as witnesses. Whoever you choose must be aged 18 or over and be of sound mind. If you don’t get your LPA witnessed properly, it may be considered invalid.

Registering your lasting power-of-attorney.

Before lasting power-of-attorney can be used by your attorney it must be registered with the office of the public guardian OPG.

Our fees do not include the registration fee of £82 per document that is charged by the Office of the Public Guardian.

Exemptions for people who receive certain means tested benefits, and a 50% fee reduction may be available based on the applicant’s financial circumstances or a reduction based on the applicant receiving universal credit.

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