What are the benefits in seeing a Solicitor to prepare your Lasting Power of Attorney?
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is designed to assist those who believe that they may lose mental capacity over a period of time.
An LPA enables you to choose trusted people (Attorneys) to make financial and health and care decisions on your behalf if you are unable to make those decisions yourself.
Here are some facts about LPA’s:-
- LPA’s were introduced by the Mental Capacity Act 2005 and came into effect in October 2007
- You need mental capacity to make an LPA
- An LPA is only for England & Wales and will not work elsewhere
- There are two types of LPA – one is for Property & Financial Affairs and the other is for Health & Welfare matters
- Attorney’s may be friends or relations provided that they are people you trust
- Attorneys must assume you can make your own decisions unless they have good reason to believe that you no longer have mental capacity
- Attorneys must make decisions in your best interests and can only make such decisions without your consent when you don’t have mental capacity. The Health & Welfare LPA enables you to choose whether your Attorneys or your doctors can make decisions about accepting or refusing medical treatment to keep you alive
- An LPA needs to be registered at the Office of the Public Guardian to bring it into effect and a registration fee of £82 is chargeable for each LPA
Once you lose the ability to understand what an LPA is, it’s too late. Your family may need to apply for a deputyship instead which can be costly and time consuming.
Many people believe that they can simply prepare and register their own Power of Attorney without the need for taking specialist advice. We would strongly urge you to stop and think about this. As solicitors we can often predict certain events that may cause issues in the future and we, more often than not, are be able to provide you with the necessary insight to effectively plan for the future. Simply filling a form online having researched internet advice is NOT the same as talking to a legal expert who offers you bespoke advice for your families needs.
We would recommend you watch this video prepared completely independently by the Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE). This organisation is designed to protect the elderly and members of the SFE are recognised as trusted experts in their field.
Liam Gough is a member of the SFE (Solicitors for the Elderly)and sits as a Judge on the Social Security Appeals Tribunal and in the Court of Protection and is therefore vastly experienced in advising clients in all matters relating to Wills, LPAs, Trusts, Inheritance Tax Advice and Estate Planning.
For more information or to discuss any concerns, please contact one of our experienced legal advisors in our private client Wills & Probate department namely, . Liam Gough,Sangeet Tatem Catherine Page and Paul Olubiyi
T: 01708 745183