Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)
Powers of Attorney
(1) Lasting Powers of Attorney
What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
A Lasting Power of Attorney (“LPA”) is essential for anyone at any age. LPAs are legal documents that allow you to appoint someone to make decisions for you (called your “attorneys”) either because you want them to for convenience, or because you are no longer able to make decisions for yourself because you have had an accident, an illness, or not become fully conscious again after a surgery.
There are two types which each give a different authority to the person you appoint. A property and financial affairs LPA gives power to make decisions about things like managing your bank account, paying bills and selling your home. The health and welfare LPA gives your attorney powers for decisions regarding your daily routine and medical care. You can choose to create an LPA for each of these or for both.
What happens without an LPA?
Every 90 seconds, someone in the UK is admitted to hospital due to brain injury; and more than 800,000 people have dementia. While none of us like to think about the worst happening to us, it is
vital to put these documents in place to protect ourselves as well as our loved ones. Without these documents in place, an application will be made to the Court of Protection to appoint a Deputy.
Do I just need one LPA?
There are two different types of LPAs – one that deals with your property and affairs, and one that deals with your health and welfare. You can have both types, or just one type. You should speak to one of our advisors to understand the differences between the two and decide what is right for you.
In most cases it is advisable to make both types of LPA.
Who can I appoint as my Attorney?
You can specify who you wish to appoint as your attorney. This could be a relative, friend or a professional, however they must have the mental capacity to make their own decisions. You may choose to appoint the same attorney, to cover both your financial and health decisions. You may also decide to have a different one for each, if you do choose to have different ones they may need to work together on certain decisions. The Power of Attorney must be over 18 years of age and cannot be bankrupt if they are to be appointed under an LPA for property and financial affairs.
It is important to think about how well you know the individuals you wish to appoint and if you trust them to make decisions on your behalf with your best interests in mind. Consider how well they look after their own affairs and how happy they may feel to make important decisions on your behalf.
Why should I get a Lasting Power of Attorney?
You are only able to put an LPA in place when you have the capability and capacity to understand the document. In that regard, it is better to have this set up as soon as possible. If you do not have an LPA in place and you become incapable of making a particular decision the matter will need to be referred to the Court of Protection to appoint a Deputy, and this process is very expensive and lengthy. However, if you have an LPA in place it ensures that someone you trust is authorised to make decisions on your behalf, should in your lifetime, you become unable in any way to convey these yourself. Having this set up in advance enables you to convey your wishes to your appointed individuals, making sure that should your health decline unexpectedly you have someone ready to step in.
(2) Enduring Powers of Attorney
The difference between an Enduring Power of Attorney and Lasting Powers of Attorney
Enduring Powers of Attorney (“EPAs”) were replaced by Lasting Powers of Attorney on 1st October
Any EPAs drawn up prior to this date are still valid and they can be registered if someone loses mental capacity to deal with their affairs, but new EPAs cannot be drawn up.
Why did EPAs change to LPAs?
EPAs are more limited in their scope, and this is why they were updated.
If you have drawn up an EPA, you may wish to consider a new LPA. The main limitations are:
• There is only one type, that deals with finances
• You cannot appoint replacement attorneys
• An EPA is only registered if someone loses mental capacity
What do I do if someone has an EPA and I now need to help them use it?
EPAs can still be registered, and the attorneys must notify the donor and specified relatives of
the intention to register the document in a specific order.
A registered EPA can only be revoked by making an application to the Court of Protection. An unregistered EPA can be revoked using a Deed of Revocation.
(3) Business Lasting Powers of Attorney
Often, it is not appropriate to appoint the same person to make both personal financial decisions and business decisions on your behalf and a separate document is needed to deal with your business affairs.
In short, drawing up a Lasting Power of Attorney for your Business ensures continuity. Most people do not realise how quickly debts will be recalled if a business owner loses mental capacity, which in some circumstances, can leave your family at risk.
It is also a really useful document if you wish to retain ownership of your business but appoint someone else to run it for you without formally appointing them as a director or selling or transferring your business.
(4) General Power of Attorney
General Powers of Attorney are commonly used by individuals who become temporarily unable to manage their own affairs. Although the powers conferred can be wide ranging, they are used for specific commercial or transactional arrangements, for example allowing an appointed individual to execute documents on the donor’s behalf.
Under a General Power of Attorney, the donor must have mental capacity; and if they lose mental capacity; the document can no longer be used.
A benefit of creating a General power of Attorney is the ability for the donor to limit what aspects the attorneys can act in relation to.
Typical uses of a General Power of attorney involve executing deeds, for example in relation to a property transaction; and they can also be used to give shareholders of a business the ability to appoint someone to act as a proxy at company meetings, including voting and executing written resolutions.
Why should I appoint a solicitor to help set up my Powers of Attorney?
We offer tailored advice to suit your individual circumstances and requirements. We have a wealth of experience in handling all types of power of attorney documents and applications, ensuring you are advised of both the personal impact and practical requirements of each step in the process.
At The Jonathan Lea Network, we offer a fixed fee service and give you invaluable advice. We offer an initial no cost no obligation 20-minute video call to discuss your circumstances. To book this please send an initial email to firstname.lastname@example.org (with a brief description of the matter) and one of our team will liaise with you to fix a time to speak to an appropriate specialist and send you a calendar invite accordingly.