A power of attorney is a legal document where a person gives another person or persons (the attorney) authority to make certain decisions on his or her behalf.
With effect from 1st October 2007, relevant sections of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 introduced a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA).
There are 2 types of LPA:-
As with any power of attorney, it is an important document and you should take care whom you appoint. Your attorney should be trustworthy and have appropriate skills to make the proposed decision. If you appoint more than one attorney, you can appoint them to always act together (jointly) or together or separately (jointly and severally). You may even appoint them to act jointly for some things and jointly and severally for others, although this should only be done with advice as it can cause problems when using the power.
You may also choose to appoint a successor to your attorney in case they die or otherwise cannot act for you.
The attorney will only be able to act when the LPA has been signed by you and your attorney, certified by a person that you understand the nature and scope of the LPA and have not been unduly pressured into making the power. The Certificate will also need to confirm there has not been any fraud or other reason why you cannot make the power. It must then be registered with the Office of Public Guardian before it can be used. A property and affairs LPA can be used when you have both capacity to act, as well as if you lack mental capacity to make a welfare or medical decision.
If you lack capacity to make a decision about your property or financial affairs, it may be necessary for an application to be made to the Court or Protection for an appropriate order, such as appointing another person to make decisions on your behalf. This can be costly and time consuming.
Most healthcare and welfare decisions can be made on your behalf, without the need for a Court application. However, if you wish to avoid potential disputes, you can give a person(s) authority to make those decisions on your behalf, by making a welfare LPA.
One of the more contentious aspects of the LPA procedure is that although the document must be registered before it can be used, there is no point at which the attorney has to declare that the person giving the LPA has lost mental capacity and therefore that person will always be able to access his/her funds, even when he/she may be incapable of managing those finances.
At Oak Tree Probate Solutions, we have the ability, tact, discretion and experience to act as Attorneys for our clients. We charge a fixed fee for this service as follows:-
Single person property and affairs LPA - £350 plus VAT
Single person property and affairs and personal welfare LPA - £500 plus VAT
Couple property and affairs LPA - £500 plus VAT
Couple property and affairs and personal welfare LPA - £750 plus VAT
There is a Court fee of £120 per document (some exemptions apply)