A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legally binding document. You (the Donor) can use it to give authority to someone (your Attorney) to make decisions on your behalf at some point in the future when you can no longer do so yourself.
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney:
- Property and Financial Affairs (LPA PFA) – allows your Attorney(s) to make decisions about your finances. This can include running your bank accounts and savings accounts, decisions about making or selling investments and selling property, and spending your money
- Health and Welfare (LPA HW) – allows your Attorney(s) to make decisions about your healthcare and medical treatment, decisions about where you live and day-to-day decisions about your personal welfare, such as your diet, dress or daily routine
Questions to answer when creating an LPA:
Who are your Attorneys going to be? The most important criteria is that you trust them completely to always make decisions in your best interest.
The attorney should also:
• Know how best to support the donor
• Get on and consult with co-attorneys and other interested people
• Understand their duties and obligations
• Understand the LPA and its limits on decision-making
• Be organised, decisive, unimpressionable and have the time to act as attorney
If you appoint more than one Attorney, do you want them to act jointly or jointly & severally. That is:
- Jointly – your Attorneys must make all decisions together
- Jointly and severally – your Attorneys can make decisions together or separately
- Jointly for some decisions and jointly and severally for others – your Attorneys must make some decisions together and may make other decisions together or separately. This option will need to be carefully considered to ensure clarity and avoid confusion
Do you want to appoint Replacement Attorneys in the event that your first choice of Attorney cannot continue with the role?
Who do you want to be told when your LPA is registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG)? You can name up to 5 people to be notified – your ‘named people’.
Who could confirm your understanding of the LPA? This is your Certificate Provider.
If you ask Thompson Smith and Puxon to assist you with the preparation and registration of your LPA, these are the stages your LPA application will pass through with our help:
- Discussion of all of the above issues with you
- Preparation of the LPA forms on your behalf together with the notices and application forms
- Arranging signature of the LPA by you, your Certificate Provider and your Attorneys
- If appropriate, sending the notices to your named people
- Submitting the application to register your LPA to the OPG together with a cheque provided by you for the OPG registration fee, currently set at £82 per LPA. Exemption or remission from the fee is available at the OPG’s discretion, depending on your financial circumstances. We would assess your eligibility for a fee remission or exemption at the initial appointment.
- Once the statutory waiting period has expired and the OPG is satisfied with the application papers, they will register the LPA and return it to us
- We will provide you with certified copies of the LPA and arrange storage of the originals
- The OPG has introduced an online tool so that the donor and attorneys can provide access to third parties, such as banks or healthcare providers, to the register
- A LPA PFA is capable of being used as soon as it is registered. You can choose whether you wish it to start being used as soon as it is registered or when you lose mental capacity
- Your LPA HW, once registered, is only capable of being used when you no longer have the mental capacity to make the personal decision in question