Lasting Powers of Attorney
As much as we would all like to think we will remain fit and healthy throughout our lives, a time may come when we are incapable of making the important decisions.
To give yourself peace of mind that someone will be acting in your best interests should you lose your mental capacity, you can nominate a family member or friend to make these decisions for you.
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) allows you to appoint a person you trust (the attorney) to act on your behalf. There are two types of LPA, one relating to property and finance and the other to personal welfare.
Property and finance LPAs give the attorney the authority to manage your assets in the same way you do, including paying bills, buying and selling property and looking after your investments. Personal welfare LPAs allow the attorney to determine where you live, access your medical information and even be involved in decisions about your treatment.
You can only sign an LPA whilst you have the mental capacity to do so. Without one, your family would have to make an application to the Court of Protection to appoint a deputy to act on your behalf. This is an expensive and time consuming process and until a deputy is appointed, family members would be prevented from making decisions. The court may also decide the deputy needs supervision, resulting in additional costs.
Your attorney must be 18 or over, not have been declared bankrupt and have mental capacity. You can appoint more than one attorney and decide whether they must act together at all times or whether they can make decisions independently.
An attorney must act in your best interests at all times and encourage you to make decisions for yourself. They are required to account for their dealings and keep your finances separate from their own.
LPAs cannot be used until they have been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. The fee for registration is £110 and details will then be held by the court. When filling out the LPA forms, an independent person must confirm your capacity to sign – they are referred to as certificate providers.
An LPA is a powerful document and you should always take independent legal advice before signing one. Most importantly, you should be aware that it can be cancelled at any time, provided you have the mental capacity.
Michelle Baker offers a professional and personal service for Lasting Power of Attorney advice. She is able to offer a home visit (for a reasonable call out fee) or you may wish to see Michelle at these offices, whichever is convenient for you.
For help and advice on Laws of Attorney in Chelmsford, Shenfield, Brentwood, please contact :
Telephone: 01245 351 924
Lasting Power of Attorney Solicitor Chelmsford
Lasting Power of Attorney Solicitor Shenfield Brentwood