Deciding on who can register Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA is crucial, especially in current times. It ensures that the decision-making power lies with someone you trust and not with the person decided by the court. However, many people feel that setting up Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA is a difficult task.
To begin with, they do not know who they should appoint as their Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA and are confused by the various options. This is why we have formed a clear and comprehensive guide to answer all such questions.
Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA: A Quick Guide
It is common to see people losing their mental capacity as they grow older. This happens due to medical illnesses like dementia, other serious and long-term illnesses, and accidents, which affect their decision-making ability. Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA is a legal document made by a donor (the person) who assigns trusted friends and family members as their attorneys to act on their behalf when they lose their mental capacity.
When we are young and our decision-making ability is intact, we tend to brush aside any thought of unfortunate incidents in our future. However, strokes and accidents can happen to anyone at any age, which can be devastating. This is why making a Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA early in life is necessary.
The individual you appoint as an attorney when setting up Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA will be responsible for your financial affairs if you are in a comatose state or unconscious for an extended period.
When does POA take effect?
The Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA takes effect usually when a person loses their ability to think clearly or when they are hit by dementia or other similarly affecting diseases. However, the springing Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA provides the right for the attorney to make decisions if the person is not in the country.
To register Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA, you must be 18 years or over, possess mental capacity, and have witnesses. Your witnesses should also be at least 18 years of age, have the mental ability to make their own decisions, and can be your doctor, solicitor, or anyone other than your replacement attorneys or attorneys.
Who Can You Register For Your Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA?
Your attorneys should be 18 years or older and possess a sound mind when they come into power. You should choose those people you trust. The attorneys should have sufficient knowledge about financial decisions, so look for a person who has never been declared bankrupt and/or does not have a significant amount of debt.
You can choose one or more persons as your attorney. When you appoint only one person as your attorney, they could exploit the Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA responsibilities for personal gain, so you can assign multiple attorneys and choose how they will work. If you make them joint attorneys, they are not legally allowed to make individual decisions and must consult one another before arriving at a conclusion.
We recommend you include the details of substitute attorneys. Substitute attorneys will gain the Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA responsibilities if your attorneys die, move away, refuse their responsibilities, or suffer from a stroke. If you are naming your ageing spouse or parents as your attorney, you should include the names of substitute attorneys.
Duties and Responsibilities of Attorney
The primary duty of an attorney is to oblige the donor’s demands and refrain from benefiting from their newfound ‘power’. The attorney should maintain fair records of all expenses and income of the donor and keep their statements and financial affairs separate.
The attorney has the following responsibilities when handed with regards to a person’s welfare –
Because your attorney will be making so many crucial decisions on your behalf, you should be careful about who you select. Most people choose their spouse, but whoever you choose should not misuse their right of attorney; they should be concerned about your wellbeing and not about making a profit. Remember, a person who is bad with money can ruin your estate, so we recommend you consult an experienced Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA lawyer to make sure the right attorneys and their substitutes are chosen.
How To Register Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA
1. Choosing your attorney
Selecting who you are signing as Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA is the first step in applying for Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA. You will have to provide their details in the Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA forms as well as information regarding how you want them to act, i.e. jointly or jointly and separately. In the latter category, the attorneys are allowed to make some decisions individually but are obliged to make a few together.
2. Get your form signed by the certificate providers
The next step to register Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA is to get it signed by your certificate providers, who may include your doctor, mental capacity advocate, a registered social worker, or a Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA lawyer. The certificate provider should be an adult who is not amongst your or your attorney’s relatives, paid employees, or business partners. Their signature will certify that you were in the right mental state while making the Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA and fully understand the right of attorney.
3. Submit your form to the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG)
The next step is to submit the signed form to the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG), either online or by post. The entire procedure to register Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA can take up to 10 weeks. As of June 2020, one form costs £82, and each revision will cost a further £41.
4. Notify the necessary parties involved
You will be asked to name the person you are signing as Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA when you fill the form. They will be notified about their duties and will have three weeks to raise any concerns with the OPG.
5. Get your form notarised by the OPG
The journey to applying for Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA ends here. Once all the formalities are fulfilled and the OPG is satisfied, they will send a stamped copy of your Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA. This is a mark showing your Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA has been registered and accepted.
Due to the complex nature and procedure of this important legal document, you may want to seek the services of legal experts. Our experienced team will explain everything about the Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA, guide you through the various options available and help you make a valid Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA. Choosing the right people as your attorneys and substitutes can be difficult but with the right guidance, you will avoid selecting the wrong people.
My Estate Planning is a reliable institution that will help you set up the Lasting Power of Attorney/LPA. The professionals at the company have been setting up this document for years; therefore have the expertise to get all things right. You get different packages that can be modified to align with your personal needs. All you have to do is go to the My Estate Planning official website, select from our set estate planning solutions, choose your package, and rest the experts will take care.
Contact My Estate Planning today and harness quality and efficient services.