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Power of Attorney

Power of Attorney

 Introduced in October 2007, the Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is the primary means for granting an attorney authority over a person’s affairs. The order operates both before and after a person has become incapable of managing their own affairs.

Donor

The donor is the person that requests their affairs to be controlled by another party.

Attorney

The attorney is the person or people elected to take charge of the affairs. Anyone can act as an attorney, be it a family member or a professional, such as your solicitor. Trust corporations such as banks may also act as attorneys.

The attorney must however have the mental capacity to act as attorney and they must not have been bankrupt. If the attorney becomes bankrupt the Power of Attorney will be revoked.

Property and Affairs LPA

A Property and Affairs LPA allows the donor to choose one or more people to make decisions on their behalf regarding their finances.

These attorneys can be appointed to act both whilst the donor still has capacity and when it is lacking. Tasks for the attorney could include the collecting of benefits, the paying of bills or the managing of share portfolios. This LPA could be useful for a donor that is finding it increasingly difficult to leave the house, for example.

Personal Welfare LPA

A Personal Welfare LPA allows the donor to choose one or more people to make decisions on their behalf regarding personal health and welfare issues.

This LPA only comes into effect once the donor lacks the capacity to make decisions for themselves regarding their own welfare, perhaps due to unconsciousness or the onset of dementia.

The LPA allows the donor to decide over almost every detail of their future welfare arrangements from clothing requirements to giving or refusing consent of particular medical treatments.

Importantly, in the case of decisions about “life-sustaining treatments” permission must be expressly given to the attorney by you, by completing sections 6 and 12 of the LPA form.

Lasting Powers of Attorney vs. Enduring Power of Attorney

The LPA took over from the previous Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA), in order to meet the requirements of the Mental Health Act 2005. The new LPA requires that before Power of Attorney is granted a court registration must be obtained. EPAs granted before 1 October 2007 will continue to be effective. The current fee for the court registration is £130 but in some circumstances this might be reduced by the court.

In addition to the court registration a certificate provider is required before the granting of the new LPA. This is to ensure that the donor is in no way being pressurised or coerced into providing the LPA. The certificate provider must be either someone who has known the donor personally for at least two years or someone that is professionally qualified with relevant skills, such as a doctor or solicitor.

Due to the increased complexity of the LPAs they are more expensive than the previous EPAs. The new measures are welcomed though because of the safeguards they provide the donor. Our team of sensitive, professional solicitors are experienced in all elements of Lasting Power of Attorney Law. If you would like a quote, or just have a query then feel free to contact our team.