A Lasting Power of Attorney (“LPA”) is a legal document which allows a person (“Donor”) to appoint one or more people (“Attorneys”) to either make decisions on behalf of the Donor or to assist the Donor in making decisions by themselves.
These forms can be usually be completed for you within a week from receipt of signed compliance documentation. We are able to offer home visits to suit you and you will have every opportunity to discuss your documents over the phone, via email or in our offices. Our fee is fixed and therefore what you are quoted is what you pay regardless of the amount of times we communicate or see you. We feel that having that personal touch should not come at a higher price.
Often LPAs are associated with people who are elderly and may need assistance in their life with money or self-care. However, an LPA can be entered into at any age and it is not uncommon for Donors who spend a lot of time abroad to enter into an LPA to allow their Attorneys to deal with particular matters and to sign documents on their behalf whilst they are away.
An LPA does not automatically hand over complete control to the Attorneys, they can be contingent on certain events happening and within an LPA you can also restrict what the Attorneys are allowed to deal with; as in the example above, somebody who spends a lot of time abroad may wish to restrict their Attorneys to keeping their UK property looked after and nothing else.
There are two kinds of LPAs, with each designed to cover particular aspects. You can choose to enter into both, or you can choose to only into one type. There is nothing to stop you entering into them at separate times either. However, it is important to note that like a Will, the donor will need to be of sound mind to enter into an LPA.
The two types of LPAs are:
• Health and Welfare Affairs
• Property and Financial Affairs
The Health and Welfare Affairs allows your Attorney can assist with matters relating to your health and welfare, which can range from what food you should eat right through to whether or not you should be in a care-home, or even which care-home you reside in. Property and Financial Affairs allows your Attorneys to make decisions about your assets which includes their sale, purchase, where you can invest money and how much to invest.
It is assumed by family members that because you are a relative, you are entitled to assist with these matters, but unless there is the appropriate LPA in place, in fact you are not. If you act on behalf of a relative without an LPA, then you can run the risk of being held personally responsible for any losses in an investment and even breaking the law. An LPA gives you the key to go to the bank, make payments, pay bills, speak to nursing staff, doctors etc; without it, you cannot assist without the Donor being present.
At Burtons we can arrange for these documents to be drawn up with all the relevant information, discuss options with you as to who would be best suited and have them registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.
When wanting to have these documents draw up you will need to consider the following:
• Who would you want to be your Attorney(s)?
• Who would you want to be your substitute Attorney(s) should something happen?
• Who would you have as a Certificate Provider? (person who confirms you are mentally capable of entering into the LPA)
• How would you want the LPAs to be used?
To chat with one of the team, please call 01892 824577 or complete the website submission form.