Lasting Power of Attorney Guide10 mins read
A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a legal document that lets a person (the donor) choose trusted people (the attorneys) to make financial decisions or health and care decisions on their behalf. An LPA differs from other powers of attorney, as it can be used if the donor no longer has the mental capacity to understand and make decisions on their own. It lasts beyond the donor losing mental capacity, whereas other powers of attorney may be automatically revoked in such circumstances.
A lasting power of attorney should be considered an important part of your estate planning, regardless of age and circumstance. It is an effective way to protect yourself and your assets if anything were to happen to you in the future. Whether foreseeable or not, it gives you the opportunity to plan ahead and ensure your wishes are followed
In this guide, we talk you through the ins and outs of the LPA process to help you decide who to select as an attorney, and how they should make decisions.
We will cover:
- What are the Different Types of LPA
a. Property and Financial Affairs
b. Health and Welfare
- Who are the Parties to an LPA?
a. The Donor
b. The Attorneys
c. The Certificate Provider
d. Replacement Attorneys
e. Persons to be Notified
- How Should Your Attorney Make Decisions?
- Do I Need to Register my LPA
- How do I Bring an LPA to an End?
Creating an LPA may appear relatively straightforward, but in practice, it is complex and can present a risk of fraud. Our solicitors offer practical advice to help you avoid the risks and potential ramifications that come with this powerful legal document.
1. What are the Different Types of LPA?
There are two different types of LPA: Property and Financial Affairs and Health and Welfare Decisions.
Property and Financial Affairs
b. Health and Welfare
2. Who Are the Parties to an LPA?
- The Donor
- The attorneys
- Choosing the attorneys
- The Certificate Provider
- Replacement Attorneys
- Persons to Notify
There are multiple parties to an LPA:
- The donor
- The attorneys
- The certificate provider
Other people you may wish to include are:
- Replacement attorneys
- Persons to be notified
The donor, certificate provider, attorneys, and any replacement attorneys must sign the LPA for it to be legally binding.
Choosing the attorneys
The Certificate Provider
Persons to Notify
WitnessesGet an instant quotation
3. How Should Your Attorneys Make Decisions?
Where more than one attorney is appointed, you must determine how attorneys will make decisions on your behalf. The options available are:
- Jointly and severally (attorneys can make decisions on their own or together).
- Jointly (attorneys must agree unanimously on every decision).
- Jointly for some, jointly and severally for other decisions (attorneys must act unanimously on some decisions but can make others on their own).
How you allow your attorneys to make decisions is very important. Our solicitors can help you decide which option is best for your circumstances.
Most people choose to appoint their attorneys to act jointly and severally because it is the most practical, however, your specific circumstances should be considered carefully as this option won’t always be the most suitable. If you do not allow your attorneys to act jointly and severally, and your attorneys can’t unanimously agree, a decision cannot be made, and your LPA might become unworkable.
If you allow your attorneys to act jointly for some decisions, and jointly and severally for other decisions, we can ensure your wishes are correctly expressed within the LPA. Remember, the law states that attorneys must always act in your interests and make every effort to find out whether you can make the decision before they do.
When can my attorneys make decisions?
4. Do I Need to Register my LPA?
The LPA must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) before it can be used. The Office of the Public Guardian helps people in England and Wales to stay in control of decisions about their health and finances and make important decisions for others who cannot decide for themselves.
The OPG is responsible for:
- Taking action where there are concerns about an attorney.
- Registering lasting powers of attorney, so that people can choose who they want to make decisions for them.
- Maintaining the registers of attorneys.
- Looking into reports of abuse against registered attorneys.
It is therefore vitally important to inform the OPG of any changes to the addresses of the donor and attorneys. Anyone that believes an attorney isn’t acting in your best interests can raise concerns with the OPG, the police or social services. Our solicitors will be able to advise you in these circumstances.
Before the OPG registers an LPA, it must check that the LPA is legally correct and contains no errors. It must also ensure that people have had the opportunity to object if they have concerns. Without experienced legal counsel, there is a possibility that your LPA could be rejected by the OPG. Our solicitors will ensure all relevant considerations are made and requirements met, so that the document not only reflects your wishes but also meets the criteria of the OPG. This will prevent delays and could potentially save you money.
Having an experienced solicitor is also extremely important if you decide to delay registration. If you lose capacity before the LPA is registered, your attorneys can still apply to register the LPA, but they won’t be able to correct any mistakes. If there are any mistakes that cannot be corrected, the LPA can’t be used.
How do I Bring an LPA to an End?
How We Can Help
How We Can Help
Setting up an LPA is an important decision and requires a significant commitment from you and your chosen attorneys. Our specialist solicitors will ensure all arrangements are made in your best interest. Kew Law provide tailored advice on matters uniquely applicable to your LPA, such as residency and foreign-owned property, bankruptcy, and debt relief orders. With our help, you’ll have peace of mind knowing that your LPA has been set up correctly and that you’re protected from future issues or expensive delays. Our fixed fee service offers complete transparency so that you can benefit from our ongoing support without fear of spiralling costs.
Get in touch with a member of our team to arrange your free initial consultation.