Why should I have a Lasting Power of Attorney
Planning ahead is important and a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) gives you peace of mind and assurance of knowing that someone you know and trust will make decisions on your behalf should you lose the capacity to make those decisions yourself. It allows anyone who cares for someone who lacks capacity to carry out certain tasks for them
A property and financial affairs LPA lets a person choose someone to make decisions about their property and financial affairs including claiming receiving and using your benefits, pensions and allowances.
A health and welfare LPA lets a person choose someone to make decisions about their health and welfare for example if you receive health or social care services you can create a care plan that is a document stating the types and frequency of long term care that you should receive.
What is a certificate provider?
A certificate provider is an independent person chosen by you (the person making the LPA). They must confirm that you understand the LPA and that no undue pressure is being placed upon you to make the LPA. A doctor or a solicitor can be your certificate provider but you can ask a friend or neighbour to act in this capacity if you wish provided that they have known you well for a period of two years or more.
Can I appoint more than one person to act on my behalf?
You can appoint more than one person to act on your behalf. These persons are called your Attorneys. If you appoint more than one Attorney in the LPA then you can stipulate that they should act jointly or that they may act jointly and severally. If the Attorneys can only act jointly then in the event of one of them dying or becoming unable to act then your LPA will no longer be valid unless you have appointed a replacement attorney. If your Attorneys can act jointly and severally then any one of the named Attorneys can make decisions on your behalf without the agreement of the other Attorney. The LPA can still be used even if one of the Attorneys is unable to act.
Can my Attorneys act jointly for some things and jointly and severally for others?
Yes you can request that your Attorneys act jointly for some matters for example selling your home but that they may act jointly and severally for others for example paying your bills.
How much does it cost?
An LPA cannot be used by the Attorney or Attorneys until it has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (the OPG). The OPG charge a registration fee of £130 for each LPA that is being registered. You may be entitled to fee exemption or fee remission depending upon your financial circumstances. In addition if you ask a solicitor to prepare the LPA for you then there will be the solicitor’s costs of making the document, acting as your certificate provider and of registering the document. Your solicitor will always advise you of these costs before you instruct him or her to do the work.
If you would like any advices about the above or any other legal matters then please contact Helen Stewart on 01425 279222 or firstname.lastname@example.org or Kelly Taylor on 01425 621515 or Kelly@dixonstewart.com or Paul Moores on 01425 673994 or Paulmoores@dixonstewart.com