Lasting power of attorney
A Lasting Power of Attorney is a way of you appointing someone you trust to handle your financial affairs and health and welfare decisions should you become mentally incapacitated. As the NHS say – it’s ‘CHOICE or CHANCE’
What is Lasting Power of Attorney?
A Lasting Power of Attorney is a way of you appointing someone you trust to handle your financial affairs and health and welfare decisions should you become mentally incapacitated. The important thing to point out is that Lasting Power of Attorney needs to be appointed whilst you are mentally healthy. You cannot appoint an attorney after you have become mentally incapacitated, which can happen over a period of time or instantly. You can (and we advise you do) implement an advanced directive to sit alongside your LPA, please scroll to the bottom of this page for more detail on an advanced directive.
What happens if I don’t appoint a Lasting Power of Attorney?
If you become mentally incapacitated and have not appointed a Lasting Power of Attorney then the Court of Protection will appoint ‘deputies’ to make decisions on your behalf. They almost never automatically appoint a next of kin or relative, as they need to protect you, and if you lose capacity without a Lasting Power of Attorney they do this by appointing a deputy, as they will not know what you want, and cannot ask you if capacity is lost. Your loved ones would need to apply for deputyship to change this. This can be a long and arduous process with potentially high legal costs and no guarantees of success for them. In the meantime the Court of Protection will handle your affairs. Considering nearly every customer we speak to expresses the fact they would rather have someone they have chosen, than a deputy from the Court (who does not know them) handling their affairs should they become unable, our advice is EVERYONE should have made their CHOICE through a Lasting Power of Attorney, as opposed to taking the CHANCE that if they lose capacity, it may not be who they want handling important decisions for them.
Appointing a Lasting Power of Attorney whilst you are still mentally healthy, will ensure your wishes are met.
Why use Will Power?
Our Lasting Power of Attorney’s are recognised by financial institutions, local authorities, care homes as well as tax, benefits and pension authorities. As well as this, our prices are very competitive. You may already have a Will and would like to learn more about adding a Lasting Power of Attorney. There are two types and we will spend time with you to explain in detail what each type entails, if however you would like a bit more information now we have outlined each type below.
Property & Finance
Property & Finance deals with your financial affairs or property that you own and can be used whilst you are still mentally healthy (if you so choose), but you may no longer wish to handle your financial affairs or are physically unable.
Health & Welfare
Health & Welfare can only be used once you have lost mental capacity and enables decisions regarding Life sustaining treatment, decisions regarding where you are cared for and how you are cared for, what your diet is, and who can visit you and when, for example.
We charge a flat fee of £75 for a single unregistered Lasting Power of Attorney. We will explain more when we meet, but you can opt to register your LPA, in which case a registration fee applies which is paid directly to the Office of the Public Guardian, who set their own fees (currently this is £82 per LPA – there are instances where this fee may be reduced or not required at all, which your adviser will explain for you).
We believe everyone should have this important document in place (and really every adult already has through the Court of Protection). Capacity can be lost through accident or illness as well as age, and if you would rather your loved ones handle your affairs and not the Court of Protection, then this needs to be legally written and witnessed.
What is an advanced directive?
If the Lasting Power of Attorney is the vehicle, then the Advanced Directive is the directions or sat nav for your Attorneys. An advance healthcare directive, also known as a living will, personal directive, advance directive or advance decision, is a legal document in which a person specifies what actions should be taken for their health if they are no longer able to make decisions for themselves becasue of illness or incapacity. At Will Power Worthing, we strongly advise that people implement these alongside their LPA’s, to ensure that their attorneys know exactly how to implement the Power given to them through the LPA, which will avoid any uncertainess or guilt relating to potentially difficult decisions they may be required to make on your behalf. Your adviser will go through these documents in detail at your meeting.
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