Lasting Power Of Attorney
If you (or somebody close to you) are having difficulty managing your own affairs you can appoint a loved one or close friend as Attorney who can make decisions and act on these decisions for you. An Attorney can have the same powers as the person who appointed them (‘the Donor’) to manage property, financial affairs and personal welfare.
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is unlike ordinary powers of attorney, because it can continue to be used after the person giving it has lost mental capacity, provided it is registered at the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). It can therefore be a very useful tool.
The registration process generally can take 10 to 12 weeks from the time the LPA and application form are submitted to the OPG.
There are two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney:
- Property and Financial Affairs (PFA) which includes decisions for property and financial affairs. If necessary these can be restricted or limited and guidance on decision making can be set out in the document for the Attorney.
- Personal Welfare (PW) which includes decision making on healthcare, a suitable residence for the person and consent to medical treatment.
The principles in the Mental Capacity Act are repeated in both types of LPA. They state that wherever possible the Donor should be encouraged to make their own decisions and however unwise the Attorney thinks those decisions are, they should be followed wherever possible. If the Attorney substitutes their own ideas for those of the Donor, then generally he or she will not be a suitable candidate for the job of Attorney. Of course if the Donor has lost mental capacity it is the job of the Attorney to make decisions on their behalf but they must always be with the best interest of the Donor in mind.
Also the Attorney cannot (without seeking the Court’s permission) use the Donor’s property or money for the Attorney’s benefit other than usual gifts at Christmas or other festive occasions and birthdays.
If you think an LPA may be appropriate then the steps to take are:
- Contact William Essex on or telephone 020 8946 6015. An appointment can then be made to see the Donor on his or her own, whether at our office or at a home visit.
- At least a day before the visit we should be grateful to receive the following:
- Full names , addresses, telephone and email contact for both the Donor and Attorney
- Details of the persons to be notified. These will usually be next of kin or those who figure large in the Donor’s life and who should be told about this important development. Their full contact details are needed. Up to five people can be chosen (although the usual number is two)
- Whether there are any restrictions on the LPA, such as not using it to sell the Donor’s house, or any other guidance or wishes to follow
- Who should be a replacement attorney if the appointed Attorney is unable to act.
- if there are two or more Attorneys, will they be able to act individually or must they act together.
- We will usually clarify any outstanding points initially with the Attorney, but before the visit we will call the Donor to make sure he or she is happy with the proposed arrangements.
- At the visit, the Donor will be seen on his or her own. We will establish that there is reasonable understanding of the LPA, and further that no pressure or undue influence has been applied, and that the Donor thinks it is a good idea. Then the Donor will sign, and the Attorney as well; and then Mr Essex will act as Certificate Provider.
- If the LPA needs to be acted on , then steps will be taken to register it with OPG as well as notify the persons named in the LPA.
- After submission of the forms, the OPG send an acknowledgment and formally notify the Donor. About 10 to 12 weeks after that, and assuming no objections, the LPA is returned to us duly sealed. We will then supply 3 copies to the Attorney who can then notify financial institutions and others.
All figures save for the court fee are subject to VAT at 20%
LPA- £150 Preparation
LPA- £200 Preparation and acting as Certificate Provider
LPA- £375 Preparation and acting as Certificate Provider and registration
LPA- £200 Preparation of both
LPA- £300 Preparation and acting as Certificate Provider for both
LPA- £500 Preparation and acting as Certificate Provider and registration of both
£50 where second Attorney appointed (unless present when the LPA signed)
£75 for preparation of each additional LPA-PW
£75 for registration of each additional LPA-PW
£82 Court fee payable to OPG for each registration (no VAT added) unless fee exemption or remission applies