Lasting Powers of Attorney
Newnham and Jordan Solicitors are experienced in providing and advising clients concerning Lasting Power of Attorney. Not only are we fully regulated solicitors but we also aim to provide “jargon free” legal advice, even in the comfort of your home if you prefer.
We will guide you through the process, helping you to appoint suitable Attorneys and consider all the aspects of your future that may need attention.
Finally, we will prepare your Power of Attorney for you and register it when necessary. You can then rest assured that your wishes and requests concerning your finances and welfare will be looked after properly. If you already have a Power of Attorney but now wish to alter it in some way then we will be happy to assist.
Self isolating and need to sort out LPA?
Whilst the majority of us are working from home and unable to make face to face appointments, Newnham & Jordan solicitors can still help with your will writing and lasting powers of attorney. Digital signatures can be acquired via video and email.
Contact us today to arrange a video call or use our live chat facility.
- We are contactable
- Appointments are available
- The courts are still open
- Probate registries are still open
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What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
A Lasting Power of Attorney allows you to appoint an Attorney or Attorneys, often close family members or someone you trust, to make decisions on your behalf concerning your property, finances, health and welfare. There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA):
This allows you to appoint an Attorney to deal with property and financial affairs
This enables you to make decisions about your health and welfare
You can place restrictions, conditions and guidance on the Attorney to make sure your affairs are handled exactly the way you wish, even to the extent of authorising the Attorney to give or refuse consent concerning life sustaining medical treatment.
However, it is very important to understand that a Lasting Power of Attorney is not effective and cannot be used by the appointed Attorney until it has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. The registration process is currently taking approximately 8 – 12 weeks. Having prepared the Lasting Power of Attorney in advance and then making sure it is registered, you can have peace of mind knowing that you have made sensible provision, concerning your finances and welfare, should the unexpected occur in the future.
Do I really need a Lasting Power of Attorney?
It is often hard to imagine a time in the future when you may not have the mental capacity to make clear decisions about your finances or healthcare, maybe through sickness, accident or dementia in old age. But we all know that the unforeseen and unexpected does happen, although some of us would believe “never to us”!
If you become incapable of managing your affairs, then without proper provision, it will be necessary for an application to the Court of Protection to be made for the appointment of a representative who will be authorised by the Court to manage your affairs on your behalf. This invariably proves to be a very lengthy and costly process during which your assets may be frozen. It is also unlikely that your affairs will be carried out in the way you would prefer. See the following post for more information.
With a bit of forward planning and minimal cost, all this could have been avoided. To properly prepare for such circumstances it is essential to have a Lasting Power of Attorney in place.
Do I need legal advice to prepare an LPA?
Clearly this can be a very complex area and to prepare the document properly, without misunderstanding or misinterpretation, requires careful consideration to make sure all is considered, including the right choice of the Attorney or Attorney’s.
The final document then needs to be properly registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before it becomes effective. It is therefore very important to receive proper legal advice from experienced professionals within this field of law so that the Power of Attorney caters properly for your potential future needs.
What if I have an Enduring Power of Attorney?
If you already have an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) prepared before the Mental Capacity Act 2005 came into force (1 October 2007) then it is still effective even though EPA’s are no longer used. The new LPA system does allow a more comprehensive and flexible Power of Attorney thus has advantages over the older EPA system. If you are at all unsure about the validity of your EPA or LPA or require it to be updated or changed in any way, please contact us.
Will a General Power of Attorney help?
A General or Ordinary Power of Attorney is is usually created for a set period of time in cases where the donor is going abroad or is unable to act for some other reason and wishes someone else to have the authority to act on his or her behalf. The authority granted can be general or limited to specific affairs. An Ordinary Power of Attorney will usually end either at a specified time or upon the request of the Donor at any time using a Deed of Revocation and will automatically be revoked if the Donor loses mental capacity.
There is no requirement for an Ordinary Power of Attorney to be registered. Therefore, a General or Ordinary Power of Attorney (also known as a GPA), although similar in concept to a LPA, is not lasting and is not valid if the donor loses mental capacity. The maximum time GPA can last is 12 months, at which point they expire automatically. If still required, the Donor will need to make a new GPA.
Can an LPA end automatically?
Yes! A Lasting Power of Attorney automatically ends if:
- you or the Attorney die
- you or the attorney becomes bankrupt (depending on circumstances outlined below)
- a marriage or civil partnership between you and the Attorney is dissolved or annulled
- the Attorney or Attorneys lack the mental capacity to make decisions
- the power is ‘disclaimed’ (or rejected) by the Attorney
The Power of Attorney does not end in the above circumstances if there is another Attorney left to act or there is a replacement Attorney. If you originally nominated more than one attorney, the power to make decisions for you will be transferred automatically.
You can change or cancel your LPA provided you still have the mental capacity to do so. To change or cancel the LPA a Deed of Revocation will be required to cancel the existing LPA. This is then sent to all the original Attorneys and the Office of the Public Guardian (if the LPA was registered). A new LPA can then be drafted and registered as required.
Speak to Angie today, she’s here to help you!
Angie Newnham has significant experience in all aspects of private client’s legal matters including property, wills, probate and powers of attorney who will always seek the best outcome for you and your family. Angie and her team support clients in areas relating to: Wills, Probate, Lasting powers of attorney, Land, property & Conveyancing, Equity release & re-mortgages, Transfers of equity/interest.
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