What is an LPA?

An LPA or Last Power of Attorney, is a legal document that allows you to assign permission to someone who will be responsible for managing your affairs if you’re unable to. An LPA allows you to ensure that someone you trust is in control if you cannot make your own decisions.

There are two types of LPA. You can appoint someone to make your financial decisions, or you can choose someone to look after your health and care decisions if you are unable to. It is also an option to have both of these in place.

LPAs for financial decisions allow the appointed person to decide on things like the buying or selling of property, paying bills, investing money or arranging repairs. You can be specific about what powers you give them, or alternatively, you can allow an LPA to take care of everything. The appointed person also has to ensure your money is kept separate from theirs and that they maintain accounts of everything they do.

LPAs for health and care decisions cover things like what care you receive, where you live, and in some special cases, whether or not you will be given life-saving treatment if you require it.

Lasting Power of Attorney can be given at any time, and it will usually come into force if you are found not to have the mental capacity to make or communicate decisions yourself. For example, this could be if you have advanced dementia or Alzheimer’s or have an accident and can’t communicate your wishes.

LPAs are different to Wills, though many people will put an LPA in place at the same time as a Will while they are carrying out inheritance planning and getting their affairs in order.

Capital Life can advise on LPAs and put these in place for you, taking the stress and hassle out of this often confusing process. Take the time to plan for the future now, and contact their helpful team to find out your options.

What happens if I lose mental capacity and there is no Lasting Power of Attorney in place?

If you have lost capacity and are no longer in sound mind, a Deputy will have to be appointed to act on your behalf by the Court of Protection if there is no Power of Attorney in place.

Your loved ones will have to apply to the Court to appoint a Deputy for you, this could lead to a lengthy, stressful, and costly process for them and you. The Court may not appoint the person(s) you would wish to make decisions on your behalf. It is good practice to put these documents in place whilst you are fit and healthy just in case they are needed in the future. Capital Life can assist you in choosing the right person(s) to act on your behalf and ensuring the forms are all filled in correctly.

How long does it take for my Lasting Power of Attorney to be registered?

The forms need to be sent to The Office of the Public Guardian for registration. The Lasting Power of Attorney is usually returned within 8 and 10 weeks. The forms must be correctly filled in, signed, and dated otherwise the forms will be sent back to you and you will be charged the full amount of registration fees. You will also have to submit them again and join the back of the queue. Capital Life have legal experts who are able to guide you through the process to ensure it is done correctly the first time, minimising the time and additional costs.

What are the two different types of Lasting power of attorneys?

Property and Financial Affairs – This allows your nominated Attorney(s) to make decisions on your behalf relating to finances and property. This typically includes paying your bills but may also give them the power to make bigger decisions such as selling your home. You can give your Attorneys full permission or restrict the powers on which they act.

Health and Welfare – This allows your Attorneys to make decisions on your behalf relating to your medical treatment and social and nursing care, you can even give your Attorneys permission to withhold life sustaining treatment.

Does a Lasting Power of Attorney continue after death?

No, a Lasting Power of Attorney does not continue after death, they are only valid whilst you are alive. Once you die, the documents become invalid, and your attorney will no longer have the authority to make decisions on your behalf. Instead, this responsibility will fall to the Executors or Administrators of your estate.

What does a Lasting Power of Attorney cover?

There are two types of LPA, each of which perform a separate function.

The first is a Health and Welfare LPA. This legal document lets your chosen attorney make decisions on your daily routine, for example washing, dressing and eating, medical care, what type of treatment you receive and by whom, and if necessary which care home you will live in.

A Property and Finance LPA lets your attorney handle (and make decisions about) your money and property. This can include withdrawing money to pay essential bills, selling your assets or property, collecting your pension, and collecting your benefits or dealing with your tax affairs. If you don’t appoint an attorney whilst you are of sound mind, your family could incur high solicitors and court costs. Putting plans in place now with Capital Life will offset the potential risk and reduce the risk of legal fees.

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document that gives a nominated person (who you trust) the permission to make decisions for you, and act on your behalf. This is essential if you become physically or mentally unable or no longer wish to make your own decisions. There are two different types of Power of attorney, which are Property & Financial and Health & Welfare. It is important to discuss your personal situation with a professional, so that they can advise you on the type of Attorney you’ll need. It is good practice to put a Lasting Power of Attorney in place whilst you are of sound mind.