Assure your future with Lasting Powers of Attorney
Do you want peace of mind? Do you worry about becoming incapable of making decisions for yourself regarding your finances and well-being in the future? When you grow older, sometimes your mental capacity to take important decisions wanes. You may, however, just be physically unable to move around or you may often be out of the country and need someone to stand in for you in your absence. The answer is to apply for Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA).
You can apply for an LPA any time after your 18th birthday. An LPA means you can clearly set out who you wish to make decisions for you if in the future you lose the capacity to do so yourself.
In fact, at Guardian Solicitors, we stress the importance of making an LPA at some stage in our lives. Otherwise, our families will have to make an application to the Court of Protection, which can be both lengthy and costly.
Guardian Solicitors’ Q&A below explains the main duties and responsibilities required of those named on an LPA. Once in place, an LPA can provide us with peace of mind and an assured future.
What is a lasting power of attorney (LPA)?
A legal document that lets you choose other people to make decisions on your behalf, including when you still have the mental capacity to decide yourself.
What is a “donor”?
The legal title of the person making the lasting power of attorney.
"An LPA is a legal document that lets you choose other people to make decisions on your behalf"
Who can make a lasting power of attorney?
Any individual aged 18 or over. Two or more people cannot make a joint LPA.
What are the benefits?
An LPA lets you plan in advance:
- the decisions you want made on your behalf if/when you lose capacity to make them yourself
- who you want to make these decisions
- how you want those people to make such decisions
Who can be my attorney?
Anyone aged 18 or over, such as a family member or friend, a professional, or your spouse, partner or civil partner.
"A trust corporation is an organisation usually run by a commercial bank that manages your funds"
What is a trust corporation?
An organisation usually run by a commercial bank that manages your funds (savings, pensions, investments, etc) based on a set of objectives and criteria you approve with it. You can choose a trust corporation as your attorney.
What does “my attorneys acting jointly” mean?
If you choose this option, it means they must always make all decisions together. If one attorney does not agree with something, that decision cannot be made on your behalf.
What does “my attorneys acting jointly and severally” mean?
If you pick this option, it means they can act together or independently for all decisions. So, anyone of your attorneys can make any decisions on your behalf.
"A certificate provider is someone who can confirm you understand your LPA"
What is a certificate provider?
A person you choose who can confirm that: a) you understand your LPA; b) you have not been put under any pressure to make it; and c) it has not been completed fraudulently.
Who can be my certificate provider?
Someone who has known you for at least two years or has relevant skill or knowledge to form a professional judgment about your understanding, such as a solicitor, barrister or registered healthcare professional.
Can another attorney be added after the LPA has been registered? No. If you have the mental capacity to cancel an existing LPA, you may do so and make a new LPA to appoint a new attorney.
What happens if the donor dies?
The LPA will automatically come to an end.
"The LPA register is a searchable database containing the details of all registered LPAs"
What is the LPA register?
A searchable database containing the details of all registered LPAs.
What if I want register my LPA for property and financial affairs but don't want my attorney to act until I lack capacity?
You can include a restriction stating this, e.g. “my attorney(s) must not use my LPA until they have obtained medical evidence stating that I have lost mental capacity”. (Please note that this may cause problems in practice)