Lasting Powers of Attorney

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney - LPA?

An LPA, also called a Lasting Power of Attorney, is a legal document that grants authority to someone you trust, known as your attorney, to make decisions on your behalf should you become unable to do so due to mental or physical incapacity. It allows you to maintain control over your affairs and ensures that your wishes are respected, even in challenging circumstances. Some people put an LPA in place just to make things easier because they would like a little extra support from their loved ones.

Two different types of LPA

Property & Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney

The Property and Financial Affairs LPA enables your attorney to manage your financial matters, such as paying bills, handling investments, or selling property.

Health & Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney

The Health and Welfare LPA empowers your attorney to make decisions about your medical treatment, care, and living arrangements.

Who needs a Lasting Power of Attorney?

Lasting Powers of Attorney can be made by and are recommended for everyone over 18 to ensure affairs are handled smoothly during challenging times.

Often, we become incapacitated unexpectedly which is why these documents are important.

They can’t be created retrospectively. That means that you need to create them whilst you have the mental capacity to do so.

Lasting Power of Attorney - Confidence Wills

How to make a Lasting Power of Attorney:

Lasting Powers of Attorney with Evanson Wills and Estate Planning

Here at Evanson Wills and Estate Planning, we’re here to ensure you get your legal documents in place as quickly as possible and to ensure that they are tailored to your needs. 

We simply start with a free consultation to assess your needs and help with understanding the process. We’ve noted some of the key questions we get asked about LPAs below but if you have any other questions, feel free to pick up the phone and give us a call.

The Registration Process

We handle the entire registration process for you, ensuring compliance with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). Failure to complete the LPA forms correctly can result in the registration failing and the OPG keeping your registration fee. By handling the process, we ensure the forms are correctly filled and registered. Additionally, some clients are entitled to a remission of the OPG fees. We identify where this is the case for you.

Consequences of not having an LPA

Without an LPA, loved ones may face difficulties accessing finances, managing assets, and making healthcare decisions on your behalf. 

There have been some high profile cases where celebrities or their spouses have lost capacity without an LPA in place and it’s caused all manner of issues with regard to access their money to pay bills etc.

One such case was the author – Heather Bateman, who’s husband was involved in a car accident and lost capacity. Because they didn’t have LPAs in place, they had to go through the lengthy and costly process of applying to the Court of Protection to apply for a Deputyship Order. This is far more expensive than getting the LPAs in the first place. It also places additional stress on families, particularly those who need to be able to access money for bills etc.

Another example was that of Kate Garraway who’s husband lost capacity during Covid. Without LPA’s Kate explained how she couldn’t access his accounts to pay bills, school fees etc.

This can all be avoided with an LPA.

Role of the Office of the Public Guardian

The OPG oversees LPAs in the UK, maintaining a secure database, and providing guidance and support throughout the process and ensuring the smooth registration of the documents meaning that those with the power to make decision (appointed in an LPA) can do so.

Property & Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney

Roles within an LPA:

There are three principle roles within an LPA:

  • Donor: The individual creating the LPA and granting authority to the chosen attorney(s).
  • Attorney: Trusted individuals appointed to act on behalf of the donor and make decisions according to their wishes.
  • Certificate Provider: A professional who verifies the donor’s understanding of the LPA and its implications. We often act as your certificate provider. Where there are questions regarding capacity, we may bring in an independent capacity assessor.

Who to choose as your Attorney in an LPA:

There are a number of considerations as to who to appoint under an LPA and we can support with these choices, but in short:

  • Select someone reliable, trustworthy, and aligned with your values and preferences.
  • Discuss your intentions with the potential attorney to ensure their willingness and capability to fulfil the responsibilities.
  • Pick someone who won’t have geographical issues in supporting.

The difference between an LPA and an Eduring Power of Attorney

  • An LPA replaced the Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) in October 2007.
  • EPAs created before this date are still valid, but updating to an LPA provides enhanced safeguards and flexibility.