Lasting Powers of Attorney
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), or Power of Attorney in Scotland, is a legal document where you appoint someone to look after your affairs if you are unable to do so.
An LPA is just as important as having a Will but many people don’t realise this or have misconceptions about what an LPA actually is and when it comes into play.
When might I need an LPA?
Lasting Powers of Attorney
(England and Wales)
Powers of Attorney
Many people assume LPAs are only for dementia. However, this is not the case and, as recent events have shown, LPAs have a very important role to play to ensure your affairs are kept in order. This can be for many different reasons including:
- You need to shield / self-isolate
- You are too poorly / are hospitalised
- You are physically incapacitated (e.g. you have an accident, or a disability)
- You are mentally incapacitated (e.g. the onset of a mental illness such as Alzheimer’s or Dementia or after suffering a stroke).
Without a Power of Attorney in place, nobody has the automatic right or ability to take charge of your finances. This includes your spouse or partner.
As a result, if you lose mental or physical capacity for whatever reason, temporary or not, critical bills, such as the mortgage, council tax or energy bills, could go unpaid. Your family would then have to apply for a Power of Attorney on your behalf, which can take months and cost thousands.
Not everyone will need to use an LPA but if you do need it, having one prepared will save a lot of heartache, stress and potentially thousands of pounds. Consider it your ‘just in case‘ protection.
How to make a Lasting Power of Attorney
We have partnered with McClure Solicitor who offer a discounted LPA service so our supporters can rest a little easier in the knowledge things are in order – whatever lies ahead.
Coronavirus update: Following government advice and to protect the safety of our supporters and staff, we have arranged with our Estate planning partner to offer this valuable service via Skype, Zoom or over the telephone.
To organise your online or telephone appointment for your discounted Lasting Power of Attorney, please call McClure Solicitors for free on 0800 852 1999 and quote ‘Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation Free Will Scheme‘.
Alternatively, for more information, please visit their website.
Types of LPAs
There are two different types of LPAs. The type of LPA you take out will determine what your attorney can make decisions about:
- Property and Finance Lasting Powers of Attorney
This LPA allows your attorney to look after and manage any property you might have and your finances including bank accounts, mortgages and investments.
- Health and Welfare Lasting Powers of Attorney
This LPA allows your attorney to make decisions relating to your physical and mental health and welling such as where you live and what care you receive.
There are many reasons why people do not take out a lasting power of attorney:
- I’m too busy
- I don’t want to lose control over my finances indefinitely
- I don’t want just anyone to make decisions for me
- It’s too expensive
- It’s tempting fate
- I don’t like thinking about things like this.
As recent events have shown, no one knows what lies ahead so it is important to have a LPA now and not put it off.
By taking the decision to make an LPA gives you the opportunity to choose someone you trust to either look after your finances or make decisions on your behalf. They can only use it if you have registered it and you have given them authority to do so. You can take back control at any time, if you have the mental capacity to do so; an LPA can be used on a temporary or permanent basis.
Fortunately, through McClure Solicitors discounted LPA scheme, you can make both Financial and Health and Welfare LPAs for just £199. On average, this would cost £500.
Common myths about LPAs
‘My family will sort everything if I can’t’
Nobody, not even your next of Kin, has authority to act on your behalf without a valid Power of Attorney.
‘I can just wait until I need it’
Unfortunately then, it may be too late. If you are taken ill with a stroke, heart attack or COVID-19 and are mentally or physically incapacitated (e.g. on a ventilator and cannot speak), whether temporarily or permanently, you will not be able to arrange one yourself.
‘I’m too young to have an LPA‘
Unfortunately, as recent events have shown, nobody can predict what might be around the corner, so adults of any age should have an LPA prepared just in case.
‘I don’t need an LPA as I have a joint bank account’
This is a common myth. If one of the parties to a joint account loses mental capacity, the bank are liable to freeze the account until a valid LPA is put in place.
‘I don’t need a solicitor to make an LPA, I can do it myself‘
You can use https://www.gov.uk/power-of-attorney to arrange an LPA yourself for free (not including registration). However, if you do not get everything completed, signed and dated in the right order, it will not be valid. For £199, you can get one professionally prepared by McClure Solicitors.
Frequently Asked Questions
Enduring POA’s are still valid but they only deal with the Financial side so if you do an LPA that will cover the Health and Welfare side too
If your circumstances do change, you can change your chosen attorney(s).
There are very strict rules on what an attorney can do and it has to relates to your needs only. You would also appoint someone who you trust and had conversations with about your wishes.
Yes you do need to pay an additional charge to register each LPA you make. The Office of the Public Guardian currently £82 to register each section of your LPA(s).
No, you can get the documents prepared, signed and dated and just keep them in case they need to be registered at a later date. Be aware that registration can take several weeks so that may delay your attorney being able to act for you.
Absolutely, you can still deal with your own affairs whilst you have mental capacity but also allow your attorney to deal with tour financial matters if you give them permission to do so especially if a physical visit to a branch is required so you can stay safe at home.
No. Whilst you have mental capacity, even if a LPA is completed and registered, your attorney can only act on your behalf if you have lost mental capacity
They can certainly apply but not though this scheme. They would have to apply for a deputyship through the Court of Protection, which is a very long and much more expensive process
To organise your online or telephone appointment for your discounted Lasting Power of Attorney, please call McClure Solicitors for free on 0800 852 1999 and quote ‘Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation Free Will Scheme‘. Alternatively, for more information, please visit their website.
Please be aware, Roy Castle Lung Cancer Foundation will get a £30 donation for every LPA written. This service is not available in the Isle of Man or Northern Ireland due to separate legal systems.