Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA)

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal form which allows you (the donor) to appoint someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf. This role of ‘Attorney’ can be undertaken by a family member, a friend or a professional person, including a solicitor. You as donor will choose who that person will be and how much responsibility they should have over your affairs. You can choose more than one Attorney to act on your behalf if you wish to either act jointly or also independently of each other.

Our specialist Trusts, Wills & Probate Solicitors are experienced at acting as Attorney for clients and can do so on your behalf.

The donor must have the ‘capacity’ to make an LPA at the time that it is created. This means you must be able to understand what the document is that you are signing, what it means and what authority you are giving to the appointed attorneys.

The LPA must to be registered with the Office of The Public Guardian before it can be used. Registration is included as part of the service offered by Jobling Gowler Solicitors.

There are two types of LPA;

  • One deals with your property and financial affairs and can be used once it has been registered both before and after mental capacity has been lost.
  • The second type deals with your health and welfare decisions and can only be used after mental capacity has been lost to make the particular decision in question e.g. where you live, what type of care you receive (or don’t receive).

In both cases the LPAs are for use during your lifetime as and when needed. On death, the LPAs come to an end and are superseded by your Will (so you really should have a valid Will in place as well.)

The LPA for property and financial affairs is extremely useful for those people who hold assets in their sole name. If you lose mental capacity the LPA would authorise your attorneys to manage the asset which otherwise would be frozen e.g. a bank account.

The LPA for health and welfare is increasingly acknowledged as being very important. This document allows your chosen attorneys to make decisions about your health care and medical treatment and where you should live if you are unable to make these decisions yourself. If you do not have such a document in place, legal responsibility for taking these decisions lies with the NHS and Social Services.

For those of you who do not have an LPA in place, your family runs the risk of one day having to make an application to the Court of Protection to seek the required authority to deal with your assets or to make welfare decisions if you lose capacity to make these decisions yourself. This can be very expensive, upsetting and time consuming.

However, if you are faced with a situation where your family member lacks the mental capacity to make an LPA, we at Jobling Gowler Solicitors are experienced in applying to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship Order. We can also make other applications, for example, to make statutory Wills if required.

If you wish to discuss making an LPA or need further information on Court of Protection applications, then Jobling Gowler offer a free initial consultation to discuss the issues involved and the legal costs.

Please call 01625 614250 or email – enquiries@jobling-gowler.co.uk

Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners