Personal Lasting Powers of Attorney

Lasting Powers of Attorney: appointing Attorneys to make decisions on your behalf, when you have lost the ability to do so yourself.

Alex Truesdale Wills Limited: A professional Will writing and estate planning service based in Cobham and serving clients throughout Greater London including Teddington, Weybridge, Richmond, Twickenham and the South coast of England.

Call: 07887 946557 to discuss any queries you have regarding Lasting Powers of Attorney, your Will or for any estate planning needs.

Lasting Powers of Attorney Guidance Alex Truesdale Wills In Cobham Surrey

Personal Lasting Powers of Attorney

Lasting Power of Attorney: appointing Attorneys to act in your best interests and to make decisions on your behalf, when you have lost the ability to do so yourself.

Alex Truesdale Wills Limited: A professional Will writing and estate planning service based in Cobham and serving clients throughout Greater London including Teddington, Weybridge, Richmond, Twickenham and the South coast of England.

Call: 07887 946557 to discuss any queries you have regarding Lasting Powers of Attorney, your Will or for any estate planning needs.

Lasting Powers of Attorney (“LPAs”)

While we all hope that we will end our days in full possession of our mental faculties, the reality is that we can lose our ability to make informed decisions through accident, injury or illness. A sobering number of people is affected by head injury or mental illness every year. The prevalence of traumatic brain injury (caused by falls, sporting incidents or road traffic accidents), acquired brain injury (from strokes, heart attacks, brain tumours and brain haemorrhages) and dementia, reinforces the importance of appointing someone to take responsibility for your affairs should you be affected.

Making Lasting Powers of Attorney under the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA 2005) enables you to appoint someone who can manage your legal, financial and health affairs should you lose the ability to do so yourself, whether temporarily or permanently.

Anyone aged 18 or over with the capacity to do so can make an LPA appointing one or more trusted individuals, known as “Attorneys”, to make decisions on their behalf.

An LPA is a powerful document, and an effective insurance policy against your losing mental capacity and the subsequent consequences for your family and finances.

There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney; a Lasting Power of Attorney for property and financial affairs (“LPAPFA”) for financial decisions and a Lasting Power of Attorney for health and welfare (“LPAHW”) for health and care decisions.

A property and financial affairs LPA empowers your Attorneys to make decisions on your behalf about your property and financial affairs at a time when you are no longer able or lack the mental capacity, to make those decisions yourself.

This can include paying your bills, collecting your income and benefits or selling your house, subject to any restrictions or conditions you might have included. It can only be used once it has been registered at the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG).

A health and welfare LPA allows your Attorneys to make decisions on your behalf about your personal welfare, for example, where you live and the kind of care you receive. It can empower the Attorneys to give or refuse consent to medical treatment provided this power has been expressly given in the LPA.

If you had already made an Advance Decision to state that you do not wish specified life-sustaining treatment to be given at a future time, a subsequent LPA giving the Attorneys that decision making power will invalidate the Advance Decision, and the Attorneys will have the power to decide whether to refuse such treatment on your behalf. A subsequent Advance Decision (if applicable in the circumstances) would be binding on the Attorneys.

A health and welfare LPA can only be used once registered at the OPG and once you have become mentally incapable of making decisions about your own welfare.

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Protecting Your Best Interests

The process of making an LPA includes nominating a person or persons who must be notified should your Attorney/s wish to activate the LPA by registering it with the OPG.

This means that you have the opportunity to nominate friends and family who, independently of your Attorney/s, can ensure that the LPA is not going to be abused and that you are genuinely able to make a decision at the point in time that registration occurs.

Once an LPA has been registered , if you recover your mental capacity (for example, after an illness) then your Attorney/s must allow you to recommence making decisions for yourself.

Registering your Lasting Powers of Attorney

We recommend that you register your LPAs as soon as they have been executed to ensure that they can be used without delay should the need arise. Our fees for producing your LPAs include supervising the registration process at the OPG.

The OPG charges an administrative fee of £82 per LPA which is payable by you in addition to our professional fees. Depending on your financial circumstances we may be able to apply for a 50% rebate of the OPG’s fee.

In 2022, the OPG continue to experience delays and advise that registration for LPAs is taking at least 20 weeks.

Consequences of Not Having an LPA

If you have no LPA in place, and lose mental capacity, the Court of Protection (“CoP”) may appoint a “Deputy” to make ongoing decisions on your behalf. Applying to be a Deputy can be an expensive and lengthy process. 2024 Court fees include an application fee of £371, a hearing fee of £494, a supervision fee of £320 per annum and a £100 assessment fee if you are a new deputy. Solicitors’ fees for the necessary CoP applications can run into thousands of pounds. It can take many months before a Deputyship order is made, and in the interim, your financial affairs would effectively be frozen – a particular problem if care home fees are being funded privately – and all welfare decisions would rest with your medical team and/or social services.

The CoP will only appoint one Deputy, who may not be the individual you would have chosen.

To hear a heartbreaking, real life story of why you should make LPAs, watch this powerful video from the BBC One Show. Whilst broadcast in 2010 it remains very much relevant today.

Intestacy Rules 2020, Alex Truesdale, Solicitor based in Cobham Surrey

Alex Truesdale Wills Limited offers a professional Will drafting and estate planning service covering the Surrey, Kent, Greater London areas, the South Coast of England and Wales.

Call us on 07887 946557 or request a call back here.

2023-12-04T11:49:03+00:00
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