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Lasting Powers of Attorney

There may come a point where you no longer have the mental capacity to decide upon matters related to your finances and property or indeed your overall welfare. For this you will need a Lasting Power of Attorney to act on your behalf.

 

Our Wills, Trusts & Probate specialists can help by planning for that time through the setting up of a Lasting Power of Attorney, protecting your future and safeguarding your rights, should the need for it ever arise.

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

 

A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document that enables a person you trust, such as a family member or otherwise, to make important decisions about your health and welfare and/or your financial affairs on your behalf, should you be unable to make these decisions due to the loss of mental capacity.

Types of Lasting Power of Attorney

 

There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney (“LPA”). It is possible to make either one or both types – it is your choice.

Health and Welfare

Use this LPA to give an attorney the power to make decisions about things like:

  • Your care needs, for example washing, dressing, eating
  • Medical care
  • Moving into a care home
  • Life-sustaining treatment

Property and Financial Affairs

Use this LPA to give an attorney the power to make decisions about money and property for you, for example:

  • Managing a bank or building society accounts
  • Paying bills
  • Collecting benefits or a pension
  • Selling your home
  • There is also a court registration fee that is set by the court. If you have a low income or are in receipt of certain benefits the court may agree to waive the fee entirely or reduce it.

Time Scales for Lasting Powers of Attorney

 

Once we have received complete information from you, we will usually aim to have drafted the forms within 14 days. We will then arrange an appointment with you to go through the forms and arrange for you to sign them. Following this, we will then send the form to your attorneys with instructions on how they should sign the forms.

Once the forms have been completed and signed by all parties we will then submit the LPA to the Office of the Public Guardian (“OPG”) to register the document.  The registration process can take up to 15 weeks before we receive the LPA back from the OPG.

Court of Protection

 

If you have not set up a Lasting Power of Attorney whilst you were able to do so, and have since lost your mental capacity, others may need to step in to look after your financial affairs.

In these circumstances, an application to the Court of Protection is necessary. There are various different types of application that can be made to the Court of protection, but the most common is for a Deputyship Order.

What is a Deputyship Order?

 

A Deputyship Order is a court order which formally nominates someone to look after your financial affairs. It will provide strict guidance on what the Deputy has and does not have, authority to do. Without either a Lasting Power of Attorney or a Deputyship order no-one has any rights to access your bank accounts, deal with any benefit claims (including a state pension), pay any bills on your behalf or generally deal with your financial affairs.

Court of Protection Fees

 

Please contact us on 0114 249 6666 to obtain details of our Court of Protection Fees.

What Does the Fee Include?

 

  • An initial appointment to discuss your requirements;
  • Advice regarding your options;
  • Drafting your LPA’s;
  • Meeting with you again to go through them and signing the documents;
  • Acting as your certificate provider (if we are unable to do this, we will advise you of the options available to you);
  • Liaising with your attorneys to provide them with advice regarding the natures of their role and asking them to sign the documents;
  • Liaising with the Office of the Public Guardian to register the documents;
  • Providing you with two certified copies of each LPA; and
  • Storing the original documents if you wish.
  • As with Wills, if we feel that a capacity report from a doctor is necessary we can obtain a doctor’s report and will advise you of the doctor’s fees which will be in addition to our fees.

Lasting Power of Attorney FAQs

Why Should I Make a Lasting Power of Attorney?

It is important that you set up a Lasting Power of Attorney sooner rather than later, and while you are still mentally capable of doing so.

If you are injured or develop an illness that may leave you mentally incapacitated, and you do not have a Lasting Power of Attorney in place, you run the risk of leaving all decisions about your care and what medical treatment you should receive to your health professionals. 

Further, in the absence of a Lasting Power of Attorney, there may be difficulties in others obtaining access to your financial affairs on your behalf.

Can You Appoint More than One Person to Have Power of Attorney?

You can have more than one attorney but for administrative ease we suggest that you have no more than four. You can also appoint replacement attorneys. 

Can I Choose When a Lasting Power of Attorney Comes into Effect?

Yes, in a property and financial affairs LPA you can choose whether your Lasting Power of Attorney can be used before you lose mental capacity or stipulate that it can only come into effect once you lose the capacity to deal with finances. In relation to a Health and Welfare LPA the law stipulates that your attorneys will only have the authority to make decisions on your behalf once you have lost mental capacity.

What Sort of Finances can be Paid by a Person with Power of Attorney?

Your attorneys can deal with all aspects of your property and financial affairs using the Lasting Power of Attorney unless you expressly exclude them dealing with a particular asset. 

For example if you have a particularly valuable art collection you may wish to state an instruction or preference that they take professional valuation advice before they act in relation to the collection. An instruction must be followed, whilst a preference is just that. 

You may only want your assets to be invested in particular types of investment product. Again this is where you would provide either and instruction or stipulate a preference. There is no right for an attorney to see your Will unless you give permission in the LPA to enable them to do so. They also do not have the right to make or change your Will. 

What is the Role of the Office of Public Guardian, and What Might Need to be Referred to this Organisation?

The Office of the Public Guardian is an executive agency who protect the interests of those who lack capacity. They deal with the registration of the LPA’s and a major part of their function is to centralise records of dealings with and protection of the vulnerable. The OPG operate a register of LPA’s and if an original is lost then further copies can be issued. 

As part of their safeguarding role if anyone has any concerns in relation to an attorney’s actions or if they believe that the donor is in some way vulnerable then these concerns can be reported to the OPG, and they will make enquiries and, in the most serious cases, refer the matter to the Court of Protection to deal with. 

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The Team

Our team are highly knowledgeable and experienced in all areas of Wills and Probate. They are passionate about helping people take control of their affairs and ensuring rights and wishes are upheld. The team will put you at your ease immediately – while their professionalism and eye for detail will have you leaving relaxed and reassured.

We can meet with you personally in the comfort of our offices in Sheffield, Rotherham and Barnsley. If you are physically unable to attend any of our offices, a home visit can be arranged.

Lindsey Rawson

0114 249 6672
Louise Tissington

0114 249 6692