Lasting Powers of Attorney: The Five 'W' (and One 'H'!) Questions answered
Posted on 8th January 2018 at 13:35
When the words Lasting Powers of Attorney are mentioned, it can be confusing. Once a thing associated with being elderly and unable to make your own decisions due to being in a care home, now-a-days more and more people are trying to get their affairs in order to make it easier for their loved ones should they no longer be able to make their own decisions.
Whilst it can seem daunting to consider the 'what-if' questions, at MG Legal our expert team have over 20 years' experience in drafting Wills and Lasting Power of Attorneys and have answered the five 'W' questions to help you get the ball rolling with your LPAs.
So, what are the five 'W' questions and the one 'H' question!?
What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document which enables an individual to grant permission to one or more persons to act on their behalf should they no longer have the capacity. The person making the LPA is referred to as the "Donor" and the person or people who are appointed to act on their behalf are called "Attorneys".
There are two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney which you can make: one pertains to Health and Care decisions, and the other is concerned with Financial Decisions. The Health and Care LPA covers decisions such as what medical care you receive, matters concerning care homes, life-sustaining treatment that you receive, etc. On the other hand, the Financial decisions LPA covers issue such as managing your banks, building society, savings, and other accounts, managing your bills, collecting benefits or pensions and selling property on behalf of another person.
You don't necessarily have to make both LPAs. You may decide that you only want an LPA managing your Financial decisions, or your Health decisions, or you may decide to do both: it's up to you.
When might I need a Lasting Power of Attorney and when can they be used?
There are many circumstances which might require a Lasting Power of Attorney. One common use is when the donor is unable to manage their own affairs, for example financially, and they require a third person to go into the bank on their behalf or make purchases. Another use could be that you are selling your property and are going to be out of the country so wish to appoint somebody to deal with it on your behalf.
If you think that you might need either LPA, or you have questions about your circumstances, contact MG Legal's expert Lancaster team today on 01524 581 306 or email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. With over 20 years' experience drafting LPAs, our team are on-hand to ensure that you make the right decision for you.
Lasting Powers of Attorney need to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) to be valid. The OPG stamp each page and return it to us. At that point, we will copy and certify the LPA giving you two copies which you can use. When you are drafting the LPAs, you will stipulate when you want the LPA to take effect. There are two options: the LPA can be used from when it is registered, or the LPA can be used once you have lost capacity.
The LPA guidance notes suggest that it is better to allow your Attorneys to use the LPAs as soon as they are registered, otherwise they may have to prove that you lack capacity every time they need to use them, which could obviously be time consuming and may cause your Attorneys problems using the documents.
We would also point out that your Attorneys would only be able to use the documents if they have a certified copy or the original so, until you provide them with this, they would not use the document. However, it is ultimately your choice as to when you want your Attorneys to be able to use the documents. Again, this is something that our expert team at MG Legal can provide you with advice on.
Where can I go to sort my Lasting Powers of Attorney?
The forms for the Lasting Powers of Attorney are available on the government website, and can be downloaded, printed, completed and signed, and can then be submitted to the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) for registration. However, the forms are not necessarily easy to complete, and it can often be the case that people prefer to have experts draft them on their behalf.
At MG Legal, are team have a wealth of experience dealing with drafting Lasting Powers of Attorney and can complete these documents on your behalf for signature and submission to the OPG, for a nominal fee of only £200 plus VAT per LPA. We can help make the process stress-free and quick, concluding your matter efficiently with a personal and friendly approach.
BUT don't just take our word for it ... read our reviews online or pop-in to your local office to have a free chat with our friendly team about your LPAs.
Why do I need Lasting Powers of Attorney?
Unfortunately, the future is uncertain for everyone. But, by making and registering your LPAs, you could help to make the future a little bit more secure, for both you and your loved ones.
In the case of illness or an accident, having an LPA in place would allow your Attorneys to step-in and make decisions on your behalf if you were unable to. Sadly, many people do not consider making an LPA until the time when they are struck with the misfortune of being ill, by which time they do not necessarily have time to wait for the OPG's timescales, or they are unable to deal with the documentation themselves. Their loved ones are therefore left unable to make some decisions on their behalf, or with a costly alternative of obtaining a Deputyship Order.
Who can make a Lasting Power of Attorney?
Well, the short answer is: anyone can make a Lasting Power of Attorney. As long as you are over the age of 18 years, and are mentally competent, you can have a Lasting Power of Attorney. You do not need to be a British Citizen or living in the United Kingdom, either. If you intend to use the LPA in England or Wales, then you can make one. That is not to say that everyone necessarily needs one, or even should have one but, in theory, most people can.
How can I make a Lasting Power of Attorney?
If you think that you might be in need of a Lasting Power of Attorney, or you're not sure whether you should have one, then don't hesitate - give our expert team a call on 01524 581 306 to discuss your requirements or email us at email@example.com.
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Tagged as: Garstang Solicitors, Inheritance, Lancashire Solicitors, Lancaster, Lasting Power of Attorney, Longridge, MG Legal, Solicitors in Lancaster, Wills, Your Local Solicitors
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