Power of Attorney Solicitors

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What is Lasting Power of Attorney?

A Power of Attorney (POA) legally grants one person the authority to act on behalf of another person in legal matters or financial transactions. A Lasting Power of Attorney is a type of POA designed to remain in effect even if the principal loses mental capacity. The LPA replaced the Enduring Power of Attorney in 2007 as part of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. 

You may want to consider making a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) if you are worried about losing the ability to manage your personal affairs.

No-one knows what the future holds and it’s often hard to think about a time when you may need to select someone to manage your personal affairs. Nevertheless, planning ahead for such a situation can save a lot of issues later on.

At Crombie Wilkinson, our Lasting Power of Attorney solicitors have the experience needed to help people make LPAs and we can assist with LPA cases and court of protection matters to guide you through the process, including:

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Why Get A LPA?

If, for example, you are physically or mentally incapable of taking care of your finances, you may choose to elect a family member as your attorney to process payments on your behalf. It may be that you need someone to decide where you should live or what medical treatment you should receive; your LPA will decide this too.

Naturally, you are placing a significant amount of trust in the person you choose to act as your attorney and the decision and process may take some time in order for all parties to agree moving forward.

Your chosen LPA will make decisions on:

  • Your finances
  • Your property
  • Your personal welfare
  • The type of medical care and treatment you receive
  • What happens if you need to move into a care home

There are two types of LPA:

Lasting Power of Attorney for Property and Affairs

LPAs for property and affairs can be used to appoint attorneys to make a range of decisions – including the buying and selling of property, operating a bank account, dealing with tax affairs, and claiming benefits.

Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare

LPAs for health and welfare might authorise the attorney(s) to make decisions about where the donor should live, consenting to or refusing medical treatment on the donor’s behalf, and day-to-day care, including diet and dress.

It is also worth knowing you can legally select more than one attorney, however, they must be appointed to act ‘together’, ’together and independently’ or ‘together in respect of some matters and together and independently in respect of others’. Ultimately, the attorney(s) you choose play a very important part in ensuring your personal well-being both now and in the future.

Power of Attorney – Common Questions

Who can be a Lasting Power of Attorney?

Anyone you trust over the age of 18 can be chosen as a Lasting Power of Attorney. If you want someone to be your property or financial LPA, they mist not be bankrupt. 

Who Should You Consider a Lasting Power of Attorney?

Who you choose to be your attorney is a very important, and personal decision. They could be a spouse, relative or a professional, such as a solicitor. Ultimately, they need to be someone you trust, who will respect your wishes.

Your chosen power of attorney also has to be over 18 and cannot be bankrupt or subject to a Debt Relief Order. However, they do not have to live in the UK or be a British citizen.

How Do You Get a Power of Attorney?

To begin with, you will need to create a document that details what your chosen attorney can and cannot make decisions about. An LPA is a very important document and should be made with the advice and guidance of a Lasting Power of Attorney solicitor to ensure it is valid.

Once finalised, you will sign your LPA with a witness and your certificate provider. The LPA certificate provider will ensure you are signing  on your own accord and are not under any undue influence. 

A Lasting Power of Attorney must then be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.

Can You Have More Than One Power of Attorney?

Yes, you can legally select more than one attorney; however, they must be appointed to act ‘together’, ’together and independently’ or ‘together in respect of some matters and together and independently in respect of others’. Ultimately, the attorney(s) you choose play a very important part in ensuring your personal well-being both now and in the future.

Can You Dispute a Power of Attorney?

Yes. If necessary, family members can file a petition in court challenging the attorney. The power of attorney can then be revoked if the court finds the appointed attorney is not acting in the principal’s best interest.

What If an Attorney Hasn’t Been Appointed?

If you do not have a lasting power of attorney, it can be difficult for your loved ones to do what is best for you if the worst should happen. Without knowing your wishes, your family might have to apply to the court of Protection for deputyship so they can manage your affairs, property and medical treatment on your behalf. Read more about our deputyship service here.

How Much is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

The cost of a Lasting Power of Attorney through a solicitor varies depending on each individual’s needs. These are complex documents and no case is the same, so no costs of LPA will be the same. We recommend calling one of our Lasting Power of Attorney solicitors to discuss the cost of LPAs.

Who can override a Lasting Power of Attorney in the UK?

The Office of Public Guardian can remove a LPA. This can also be done by yourself, if you still have full mental capacity. 

Contact Our LPA Solicitors

We also deal with client enquiries relating to requests of power of attorney for a relative who is not able to communicate with us directly. For example, this could be a poorly elderly relative with no other next of kin who has requested that you process a power of attorney application. In this case, a signature will be required by the individual who is allowing that person to make their decisions for them. The LPA must then be registered at the Office of the Public Guardian.

For more information on Lasting Power of Attorneys, please get in touch to speak to one of our friendly solicitors in York, Malton, Selby or Pickering.

 

 

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