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Lasting Powers of Attorney

Many Carents recommend ensuring that your parents have legally registered Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) documents. These documents enable an appointed person(s) to act on their behalf and make decisions in the event that they are unable to manage their own affairs.

Two types of LPA

There are two types of LPA :
a) health and welfare
b) property and financial affairs

You can choose to make one of these or both.

This LPA can only be used when you’re unable to make your own decisions. It gives some one else (a named attorney) the power to make decisions about things like:
• your daily routine ( washing, dressing, eating)
• your medical care
• arrangements to move you into a care home
• whether or not you should receive life-sustaining treatment

This LPA can be used as soon as it’s registered, with your permission.

It gives someone (your named attorney) the power to make decisions about money and property for you, for example:
• managing a bank or building society account
• paying bills
• collecting benefits or a pension
• selling your home

It can be incredibly useful in a number of situations – such as an extended stay in hospital – because it overcomes any difficulties accessing bank or building accounts to pay bills or get cash.

Choosing an attorney

An attorney needs to be 18 or over and have the mental capacity to make their own decisions.

They could be:
• a relative
• a friend
• a professional, eg. a solicitor
• a spouse or partner

You should consider
• how happy they will be to make decisions for you
• how well they look after their own affairs, for example their finances
• if you trust them to make decisions in your best interests

You can choose one or more people to be your attorney. If you appoint more than one, you must decide whether they can make decisions on their own or whether all the attorneys have to agree.

You should also consider appointing replacement attorneys - people who will replace your attorneys if they become unwell and cannot act on your behalf anymore.

How does the process work?

You can make a lasting power of attorney (LPA) online or use paper forms.

You cannot complete the whole process online as the law says that an LPA must be a paper document with handwritten signatures or marks.

An LPA must have a certificate provider who must sign the LPA.

The certificate provider is an impartial person who helps protect the donor’s interests by checking that the donor understands the LPA and is making it of their own free will. They have to know the donor well enough to have an honest conversation with them about the LPA and the power the donor is giving to their attorneys.

A certificate provider can be:
a) someone who has known the donor personally for at least 2 years, such as a friend or neighbour (but not a relative)
b) someone with relevant professional skills, such as the donor’s GP or solicitor

The OPG is responsible for registering the forms and approving the legal powers.

It costs £82 to register each LPA (although means tested reductions or exemptions are available).

This means it costs £164 to register both a property and financial affairs LPAand a health and welfare LPA.

It takes the OPG 8-10 weeks to register an LPA – longer if there are mistakes in the application.

The period includes a statutory 4 week wait period which gives people time to raise concerns about the LPA. For example, if they think the donor is being forced into making the LPA or that someone is committing fraud.

You should also factor in the necessary time to consult prospective attorneys and enable all the relevant parties to sign the forms prior to registration.

Our Carents Say

The property and finance LPA was so useful for sorting out Dad's finances

I wish we had started the process sooner

Everyone said do it but we did not really understand what it entailed

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