What is Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)?
As we grow older or maybe encounter serious illness that we fear might incapacitate us physical or mentally, then we really ought to start thinking about how we wish to be cared for and our finances managed in the future.
It is important to make the award while you still have Mental Capacity and over 18 years of age.
When such things begin to gain traction in your thinking then your first thought may be to contact a solicitor. However, it is best to contact the Office of the Public Guardian (address and contact details at the bottom of this page) in the first instance.
My experience of speaking to people at the Office of the Public Guardian about Deputyship proved exceptionally helpful, although I wish I had spoken to them at the beginning of the process. It might have saved my mother a lot of money. It’s an easy call to make and well worth it.
You can award Lasting Power of Attorney to any person of your choosing (must be over 18 years of age). That person can be family member, friend or a solicitor. You can choose more than one person to be your attorney. You must be able to trust them to carry out your wishes.
Taking this step while you are in good physical and mental health will allow you to make known your wishes what you wish for your care and financial arrangements so that they will be carried out when you are no longer physically or mentally capable.
You can choose to make Power of Attorney for one or both of the above. You can choose different people. One person may be better at looking after your health than your financial matters, while another (or others) might be more financially competent.
This allows the person awarded to make decisions about your medical treatment, choice of care home (if needed) and even decisions on your wishes for end-of-life care.
Simply out, this person (or persons) will help you manage whatever incoming money you have on a daily or long-term basis (investments), and dispose of your assets (such as your home) according to your wishes for supporting your on-going and future care costs.
You can appoint one of more people to help you make decisions in the future or make decisions on your behalf. You must also decide who makes decisions about what and whether the decisions are to be made separately by one person or several, as you choose.
You could also decide to ask people to make decisions ‘Jointly’. What this means is that any decision made must be agreed by all designated persons (attorneys).
Please check out the links below for that information and the contact details for the Office of the Public Guardian.
Cost is one simple financial advantage of making a decision on who will represent you should you become incapable while you possess Mental Capacity.
At the time of writing (2017) it will cost you £82 to register Lasting Power of Attorney if you do it yourself.
Compared to the cost of registering Deputyship, £82 is peanuts. We applied to register our Deputyship for our mother’s health and welfare and were obliged to pay a solicitor just over £1000. On top of this there were costs about £500 for registration itself.
Had we known – or just thought about it in advance – then this is £1500 we could have used to pay for our mother’s care costs.
If the person who is wishing to register Power of Attorney has little financial assets, then there are exemptions. To find out what these are pick up the phone and call the Office of the Public Guardian. You will discover that in cases of severe financial hardship the fees for registration can be waived entirely.
Don’t be shy. Give them a call. The staff I spoke to were professional and compassionate in how they helped us negotiate the process in the final days of our mother’s life.
Contact By Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
Telephone: 0300 456 0300
Textphone: 0115 934 2778
Office Hours: Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 9am to 5pm
Wednesday, 10am to 5pm
To read and study the UK Government pages on Lasting Power of Attorney, please Click Here.