A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document which allows an individual to appoint someone else (known as the Attorney) to make decisions on their behalf. LPAs are a legal safety net to protect your assets if you lose capacity in the future, and to ensure that you get any medical or health care that you need. An LPA allows you to plan ahead and appoint someone you trust to make decisions about your health, finances, care or living arrangements on your behalf. Attorneys should always act in your best interests and you can appoint as many as you wish, but we would recommend no more than four.
Our team of expert solicitors have significant experience in this area and can explain how best to use a Lasting Power of Attorney. For more information, don’t hesitate to discuss matters with us at our Cardiff or Newport office, or we can arrange a home visit.
What kinds of LPA are there?
There are two types, one for financial decisions and one for health and care decisions. These are separate documents and you can decide to appoint different Attorneys in each document. You can also appoint Replacement Attorneys to step in if your first choice of Attorney is no longer able to act for you.
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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