Making or Registering a Power of Attorney
It is a common misconception that your next of kin can make certain decisions for you if you are not able to, especially in respect of your health and wellbeing.
The reality is that you must formally give the power to another person to make decisions for you, even if that person is your spouse or civil partner.
Historically, these powers were granted in an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) and these can still be valid today, however more recently, a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is used and this is what we discuss here.
What is a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)?
There are two types of LPAs. One will deal with finances and property and the other deals with health and welfare.
For finances and property, if elected to do so, this can be used even if you have mental capacity. This is often useful for someone who is physically unable to get to the bank or sign documents for the sale of their property etc.
For health and welfare, this can only be used when someone has lost capacity to make decisions for themselves. This will deal with where someone lives, what they eat, how they are looked after and can also give permission to someone to make life sustaining decisions - this is optional.
It is important to know what someone can do for another person either with or without a LPA whether you are the donor (the person who needs help), the attorney (the person who can make decisions) or the third party who needs to rely on the LPA.
Power of Attorney Legal Services in Ipswich, Colchester & St. John's Wood
What should you consider when you make an LPA?
- Who do you want to make decisions for you?
- Should they be able to make decisions on property and finances even if you have mental capacity?
- Do you have specific requirements they MUST or SHOULD take into consideration?
- Do you want them to be able to make decisions on life sustaining treatment?
What should you consider if relying on an LPA?
If someone (other than the person whose decision it is) is asking you to do something, what should you look out for?
- Is this a decision they can make for a loved one or friend?
- Could the person make the decision for themselves?
- If not, should there be a formal LPA in place and is there one? Is it registered?
- Who has the power to make the decision? If there is more than one person named, do they have to make
- decisions together or can one or other of them do so?
- Are there any restrictions meaning they cannot make the decision even if there is an LPA?
What can be done if there is not an LPA?
If someone has lost their ability to make their own decisions and they have not made an LPA, all is not lost. An application can be made to the Court of Protection for either a one off decision to be made or, more likely, to grant someone the power to make ongoing decisions. This can be costly and take time therefore it is advisable that, before they get to this stage, they consider making LPAs just in case.
How much does it cost to get a power of attorney?
Price: £350.00 plus VAT
Fees will be payable on producing the documents for you to sign. If you decide to withdraw instructions part way through the work we are undertaking for you, a proportionate part of the fee will be payable. This will be limited to the amount of the deposit that we will ask for up front.
What is included in the price:
- A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) for one person for either
- Health and Welfare or
- Property and Financial affairs
- The Second LPA can be added for £75 + VAT
- Meetings at your local office to take instructions and sign the documents
- Registration of your LPA
- Storage in our secure vault (if required)
What is excluded from the price:
- Home/hospital/care home visits
- Issues relating to capacity
- Tax advice
- Advice on benefits
- Legal advice outside of the service requested
£82 per document registered with office of public guardian*
*People on low incomes or on certain benefits may qualify for reductions or a complete waiver of this cost.
Disbursements are payable before we incur the cost.
How long will it take?
It will take us 1 week from your first appointment to prepare your documents. Once you are happy with the drafts, we will ask you to make a second appointment at your convenience to come in and sign the LPA. Please note that all people you are appointing as attorneys will also need to sign the LPA. If they are not able to attend the office with you, we will send you home with the LPA signed by you with instructions for your attorneys on their signing. Once we have the LPA back signed by all parties, we will send the LPA off to the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) to register. It is currently taking 6 weeks on average, for the OPG to register an LPA.
What should I expect?
- A questionnaire will be sent via email or in the post.
- An appointment will be made, which is convenient for you.
- The LPA will be prepared and sent to you to approve.
- You will be asked to return to your local office to review and sign your LPA.
- All attorneys will need to sign the LPA.
- Once everyone has signed the LPA, We will send your LPA to the OPG to be registered.
- On return we either file your original in our vault at no extra cost and send you a certified copy or alternatively we can send you the original.
How to instruct Attwells Solicitors?
Instructing us is simple. You can either click on the instruct button below to register your interest or you can call your local office. We have offices in Ipswich, Colchester and London. When instructing us please inform us of the office you would like to use.
UPDATING OR MAKING YOUR LPA REMOTELY
We are facing unprecedented times at the moment. Things are changing daily and it is hard to imagine where we will be this time next week.
We have clients in the “at risk categories” who are looking to socially distance themselves from others and that includes coming in to see us to give instructions or to sign their Wills, Lasting Powers of Attorney or other documents.
We have made provisions for our clients to have meetings with our staff over the phone or “face to face” via FaceTime, Skype and other media so that they can still deal with their important instructions but without the risk of coming to the office or arranging a home visit.
If you therefore need our services, please do not hesitate to contact us discuss how we can meet your needs at this time.