What is a power of attorney?+
A power of attorney is a legal document that allows someone you trust to make decisions for you, or act on your behalf, if you’re no longer able to or if you no longer want to make your own decisions. There are a number of reasons why this may be necessary. Often it is forward planning if, for example, you have started to forget things and realsie you may lose the mental capacity to make your own decisions in the future.
What are the different types of power of attorney?+
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA): an LPA for financial decisions and an LPA for health and care decisions.
An LPA for financial decisions covers financial matters such as paying bills and arranging repairs to property.
An LPA for health and care covers health and care decisions and can only be used once you have lost mental capacity. This is where help is needed to make decisions about matters such as where you should live, your medical care, what you should eat and what kind of social activities you should take part in.
What is mental capacity?+
Mental capacity is the ability to make specific decisions at the time they need to be made. To have mental capacity you must understand the decision you need to make, why you need to make it, and the likely outcome of your decision.
Some people will be able to make decisions about some things but not others. For example, they may be able to decide what to buy for dinner, but be unable to understand and arrange their home insurance.
Needing more time to understand or communicate doesn’t mean you lack mental capacity. Having dementia does not necessarily mean that someone is unable to make any decisions for themselves.
However, there may come a time when you’re unable to make your own decisions and someone else may need to make decisions for you.
What is an attorney?+
An attorney in respect of an LPA is someone appointed to act in the best interest of the person needing the LPA. An attorney does not need to be a legal professional, and they are most often family members.
How much do you charge to create an LPA?+
We charge just £57 per LPA.
Can I create a lasting power of attorney without a solicitor?+
Yes. There is no need whatsoever to use a solicitor to help you create a lasting power of attorney. You should know that most solicitors will charge you about five to ten times what we charge. It's hard to pin down an exact amount as very few solicitors are transparent with their pricing.
How long will it take to create my LPA?+
For the vast majority of people, it will take less than an hour with our sophisticated online system. If you need more time, then that's fine as our system auto-saves each section for you. Once you have finished the process, we will thoroughly check what has been entered and post it out to you. You will then just need to collect various signatures before you send the document to the court for registration.
What do I do once my LPA has been completed?+
Once you recieve your LPA, you will need to send it to the Office of the Public Guardian for it to be registered along with a registration fee, if appropriate.
What happens if I do not register my Lasting Power of Attorney?+
By setting up and registering a Lasting Power of Attorney you can be sure that decisions about your financial affairs and your health and welfare can be taken by one of more people of your choosing should you lose mental capacity in the future to make decisions on your own. If you do not set up an LPA before you lose mental capacity, your family will need to apply through the courts to become what is known as a deputy and this is a time consuming and expensive process.
When will my attorneys start making decisions for me?+
Your attorneys will only start making decisions for you when you no longer have the mental capacity to do so. If you are registering a Health and Welfare LPA, then your nominated attorney is not allowed to start making decisions until you cannot make them yourself. If you are registering a Property & Finances LPA then you are able to allow your nominated attorneys to act even if you still have the capacity to make your own decisions. This will not mean that they have taken over making decisions for you ,but it enables your nominated attorneys to help you make decisions with regards to your property and finance.
How many attorneys should I appoint?+
The number of attorneys you appoint is entirely your choice depending on your circumstances.
When can I apply to register for a Lasting Power of Attorney?+
You are able to register for a Lasting Power of Attorney if you are over 18 years of age and still have the mental capacity to be able to make decisions for yourself and that you understand what you are doing by registering your Lasting Power of Attorney. This online form is only valid for use in England or Wales.
How long does it take for my Lasting Power of Attorney to be registered?+
The time taken by the Office of the Public Guardian to register your Lasting Power of Attorney is usually between 8 and 10 weeks providing the forms have been correctly completed with all the required information.
We are here to help and answer any questions you may have about the process.