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A Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document which allows an individual (donor) to give another individual the right to manage their affairs and make decisions on their behalf if they lose mental capacity. The Ministry of Justice (MOJ) research suggests there was an increase of LPA registration by 19% in 2022 than the previous year.
The attorney you choose must be 18 and over and it could be your wife/husband or partner, relative, friend or a professional such as a solicitor.
You can also choose if you want to have more than one attorney. If you choose more than one attorney, then you need to decide if you want them to make decisions on your behalf jointly or separately.
If you choose jointly then that means all the attorneys must agree on a decision made on your behalf.
If you choose separately – This can also be known as ‘jointly and severally’ then the attorney can make their own decisions without having to consult and get agreement from the other attorneys.
Property and Financial Affairs - This gives authority to attorneys to manage and make financial decisions on the donor regarding daily life financial matters such as: paying your mortgage, managing your bank account, paying bills, arranging repairs to your property, and selling your home.
Health and Welfare - This gives the attorneys to make decisions about an individual’s medical treatment and day-to-day care and can include decision such as where you should live, your medical care, your social care, your diet, who you should have contact with.
You can apply for the Lasting Power of Attorney for both online at: https://www.gov.uk/power-of-attorney
Alternatively, you can contact the Office of the Public Guardian on 0300 456 0300 for an application pack.
The LPA is registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) and costs £82 to register a Lasting Power of Attorney. It can take up to 20 weeks to register a Lasting Power of Attorney.
To certify a copy of the Lasting Power of Attorney the donor, attorney, and a witness must sign the LPA. Also present should be an independent third party a certificate provider. The certificate provider can confirm if the donor has mental capacity and was not coerced to register the LPA application. The certificate provider can be someone form the local community a professional, such as a solicitor, doctor, or health care worker.
The Lasting Power of Attorney is an ongoing arrangement that has no expiry date. Changes that need to be reported to the Office of the Public Guardian include change of name or address of the donor or attorney and if an Attorney dies.
A Donor can cancel the LPA whilst they have mental capacity. They will need to issue a Deed of Revocation. A legal document signed by the donor to cancel powers conferred to another individual. If an attorney is conducting their duties unprofessionally and not making decisions in the best interest of the donor, they can be reported to the OPG.
If an individual loses mental capacity and they do not have Lasting Power of Attorney in place, then a family member/relative/friend can look to apply for Deputyship. This allows the Deputy to help the Court of Protection to make decisions for the individual.
Applications to the Court of Protection include a fee of £371 per deputyship order, assessment fee and an annual supervision fee if you are a new Deputy. The application requires an assessment of capacity by a registered practitioner.
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