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What is an LPA?

What is an LPA?

A lasting power of attorney is a legal document that allows you to appoint somebody to make decisions on your behalf if you are no longer able. Sometimes needing somebody to make those decisions is a temporary measure such as if you are ill and going into hospital. Other times it’s a longer-term measure because you have lost mental capacity. The person you appoint is known as your ‘attorney’.

Types of power of attorney

There are 3 different types of power of attorney.

  • Enduring power of attorney – These existed before 1 October 2007 and if you have a valid one, it can still be used. It is for financial decisions only. No new ones can be made.  
  • Ordinary power of attorney – Again these are for financial decisions only and can only be used while you have mental capacity. New ones can still be set up, but its more common to put an LPA in place instead.
  • Lasting power of attorney – There are two types of LPA to consider, and you can have either or both in place.
    1. Property & Financial LPA – Your attorney is enabled to make decisions on your behalf both whilst you have capacity and after you have lost capacity. They can help pay your bills, manage your savings, and even make big decisions like whether to sell your home.
    2. Health & Welfare LPA – This is for use once you have lost mental capacity and allows your attorney to make decisions about where you live, how you are looked after and the medical treatment you receive. They can also make decisions about life-saving treatment, which would otherwise be made by a relevant health professional.

Who should have an LPA?

The simple answer is that everyone should put power of attorney in place as none of us know when it might be needed. You must have mental capacity when you set up your LPA. Sometimes it can be left too late and by the time power of attorney is needed, mental capacity has been lost. In these circumstances, it will be up to the Court of Protection to decide what happens on your behalf.

How do I put an LPA in place?

You will need to complete forms and apply to the Office of the Public Guardian for an LPA. You can complete the forms online, download them or call 0300 456 0300 for them to be posted out.

Alternatively, you can use the services of a Solicitor if you would like help applying.

Appointing an attorney is a big decision which holds a lot of responsibility. You need to understand what you are doing and have thought through who the right person to be your attorney is. A Solicitor can help talk you through your options and guide you through the process.

How much does an LPA cost?

You will need to register your LPA with the Office of the Public Guardian. There is a disbursement fee of £82 per LPA. This means that if you complete both a Property & Financial and a Health & Welfare it will cost you £164.

Should you use the services of a Solicitor, their costs will be in addition to this and vary from person to person so you may want to obtain several quotes before proceeding.

What happens to an LPA when someone dies?

On death, the LPA comes to an end and your attorney must notify the Office of the Public Guardian of your death.

Where to find out more.

You can learn more about Lasting power of attorney at https://www.gov.uk/power-of-attorney

 For more help and advice or to receive a complimentary guide covering Estate & Inheritance Tax planning, contact Yorkshire Financial Planning on 01482 275540 or complete our contact form here.

Powers of Attorney involve the referral to a service that is separate and distinct to those offered by St. James's Place and are not regulated by the Financial Conduct Authority.

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