A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document allowing an individual to appoint someone else (known as the Attorney) to make decisions on their behalf if they lose capacity. An LPA is a legal safety net to protect your assets if you lose capacity in the future ensuring that any medical or healthcare needs are provided for. This allows you to plan ahead by appointing someone you trust to act in your best interests and make decisions about your health, finances, care or living arrangements. Whilst you can appoint as many as you wish, we would recommend appointing no more than four Attorneys. Our team of expert solicitors have significant experience in this area and can explain how best to use a Lasting Power of Attorney. To arrange a home visit or discuss matters with us at our Cardiff or Newport office, contact Harding Evans today.
What kinds of LPA are there?
There are two types of LPA, one for financial decisions and one for health and care decisions. There are separate documents used to appoint each and you can decide to appoint a different Attorney in each document. If your first choice of Attorney is no longer able to act for you it is also possible to appoint a Replacement Attorney to step in.
When should I prepare an LPA?
An LPA should be prepared when you are fit and well and able to plan for the future. Once your LPA has been signed by you and your Attorneys, it should be sent to the Office of the Public Guardian for validation. The Office of the Public Guardian charge a fee of £82 for each document and their validation process takes approximately 8 to 10 weeks.
The LPA for financial decisions replaced the old Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA). Any existing EPAs remain valid legal documents, but you may want to consider preparing a new LPA to allow you to appoint Replacement Attorneys.
While it was not necessary to register an EPA once it was put in place, Attorneys are under a duty to register an EPA if they believe the person for whom they are appointed has either lost or is beginning to lose mental capacity. An LPA (or EPA) can be revoked at any time unless you have lost mental capacity.
Business owners should also consider putting in place a separate LPA for financial decisions to appoint Attorneys in relation to their business affairs. Consideration must be given to the business’ own separate legal documentation, for example, your Partnership Agreement or your company’s Articles of Association, which may need to be amended to allow an Attorney to act in relation to the business if necessary.
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