Lasting Powers of Attorney
A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document which allows you to give power to someone of your choosing, whom you trust to make decisions on your behalf if you should lose the capacity to do so yourself.
What happened to Enduring Powers of Attorney?
From 1 October 2007, Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPA) have been replaced with Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA). The LPA remains effective after the donor loses mental capacity, in the same way as the old EPA did.
I’ve already got an Enduring Power of Attorney – is it still valid?
Yes, as long as it was correctly signed before 1 October 2007, the Enduring Power of Attorney will remain valid.
What’s the difference?
The EPA could only relate to financial issues, whereas the new LPA can also refer to personal welfare issues.
Whatever the donor's mental capacity, the LPA must be registered with the Court of Protection (also referred to as the Office of the Public Guardian) to become effective. There also has to be a "certificate provider". This is a person who provides a certificate confirming that the donor understands what s/he has signed and understands its contents, and that no pressure has been brought to bear on the donor. The certificate goes to the Court as part of the LPA.
Do I have to go to Court to register it?
No, this can all be done by your solicitor. All you will need to do is sign the document itself.
Why should I bother? I’m capable of dealing with my own affairs at the moment...
If you have a Lasting Power of Attorney, it remains valid until the day you die. This means that you can sign it now and it doesn’t need to be used until it becomes essential to do so. This is all the more important for those with degenerative diseases such as Alzheimer’s or dementia. It is much easier to sign the documents before the illness becomes more serious.
If you leave it until you are unable to express your wishes (perhaps due to a medical incident such as a stroke, or an accident), trying to obtain authority to deal with your affairs can be a very expensive and time-consuming procedure which can include obtaining medical opinions and paying court fees. This can exacerbate an already traumatic situation, not only for the person in question but for their loved ones who are trying to help.
How much does it cost?
There are two parts to the fee itself. The first is a registration fee of £82 per LPA which is payable to the Office of the Public Guardian. You may be entitled to a fee remission or exemption, depending on your financial circumstances. Funnell & Perring Solicitors' legal fees are £400 plus VAT for one LPA, or £550 + VAT for both. This includes discussing the LPA with you, taking your instructions, preparing all the forms, ensuring they are completed correctly to avoid unnecessary delays, and corresponding with all parties including the Office of the Public Guardian.
What do I do now?
If you would like to discuss this further, please do not hesitate to contact us on 01424 426287 or email email@example.com