Lasting Power of Attorney
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is for individuals or couples of all ages who are concerned over failing health, planning for the future or need help managing their affairs. A couple will often wish to make “mirror” LPAs which reflect one another.
An LPA can help you to plan how your health, well being and financial affairs will be looked after. It allows you to plan in advance:
- The decisions you want to be made on your behalf if you lose capacity or fall ill and become incapable of making them yourself
- The people you want to make these decisions
- How you want the people to make these decisions.
Having an LPA is a safe way of maintaining control of decisions made for you. It allows you to appoint someone to make decisions and sign documents on your behalf in some circumstances. LPAs differ from normal Powers of Attorney which become invalid when you lose capacity - an LPA will remain in force. LPAs are formal legal documents subject to complex technical requirements.
There are two types of LPA, which cannot be combined into one document.
Property and Financial Affairs LPAs – appoint an Attorney to manage your property and finances, including running your bank accounts and dealing with your property (but not normally making gifts, or drawing-up your Will). You have the choice to specify in your LPA made now that your Property and Financial Affairs Attorney may act either only after you lose capacity; or straight away (perhaps for convenience).
Health and Welfare LPAs appoint an Attorney to make decisions regarding your personal healthcare and welfare, including where you live, who visits you, the type of care you receive, and decisions regarding medical treatment. Your Health and Welfare Attorney may only ever act after you lack capacity – never before then.
Once your LPA has been completed by being signed by you, the Certificate Provider and your Attorneys, you have the choice either:
- To register with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) straight away, so the LPA can be used as soon as it is needed, or
- To keep the LPA unregistered, “waiting to see” whether the LPA may ever be needed.
We would recommend having the document registered as soon as possible, in readiness for use at a later stage
If you “wait and see” you may save some money now, but if the LPA is needed suddenly it might not be available until after the subsequent registration of it is completed, which would take time that may not be available in some circumstances. It is as common to decide not to register an LPA at the time it is made (i.e. to “wait and see”) as it is to register as soon as the LPA is completed.
LPAs replaced Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPAs) from 1 October 2007. If you already have an EPA it can remain valid and effective, but it cannot be changed. If you need to change your EPA then you will have to make an LPA to replace it. Your Attorney under an EPA can only deal with your property and financial affairs – even if you have an EPA you may still wish to make a ‘Health and Welfare’ LPA.
You can cancel an LPA you have made at any time when you still have capacity (including after registration).
How long will it take?
The time our work takes to conclude will depend on precisely what we are asked to do, but we would generally expect to have taken your instructions within two days of you having bought this product, and we would normally expect to have produced the finished product within 10 working days of your decision to buy the product.
Special dispatch may be available where necessary (possibly at extra charge in some cases – please ask). Registration of an LPA with the OPG can take 6 – 12 weeks for the OPG to process.
Our work for you will include:
- Taking your instructions and producing from them a Lasting Power of Attorney document
- Guiding you through the process of executing it and overseeing completion
- Checking that the execution appears to be legally compliant
- If you wish, we can also securely store the original document for you providing you with a copy for your retention at no extra cost
- Applying to register your LPA with the OPG if you require.
Our work will be charged at a fixed-fee of:
- £175 inc VAT for making one LPA for one person without registering it
- £375 inc VAT for making one LPA for one person and registering it with OPG [includes the OPG’s £82 registration fee]
- £330 inc VAT for making one LPA for a couple without registering them
- £530 inc VAT for making one LPA for a couple and registering them with OPG [including the OPG’s £164 total registration fees]
- £375 inc VAT for making both LPAs for one person without registering it
- £720 inc VAT for making both LPAs for one person and registering it with OPG [including the OPG's £164 total registration fees]
- £530 inc VAT for making both LPAs for a couple without registering it
- £1,395 inc VAT for making both LPAs for a couple and registering them with OPG [including the OPG's £328 total registration fees]
Discounts may be available on registration fees, please ask for details.
Our fee applies regardless of how much work we actually do. In some cases this may mean we’ll get relatively better paid for doing less work than in other cases, in which the fixed fee will barely cover our costs. This is simply the nature of the mutual gamble between a solicitor and their client when they fix a fee.
More detail of all these matters will be outlined in our retainer letter which you will be able to review before you engage us, after pressing the “Buy” button on the website.
If you have any questions or require any further information, please don’t hesitate to Contact Us.