Many of us don’t like to think about the future and our own demise but sometimes a little bit of planning can make the world of difference to our families and loved ones as well as ourselves.
A stroke, heart attack, dementia or a severe accident can leave us dependent upon other people to help make crucial decisions in our lives.
Making a Lasting Power of Attorney is one way that we can plan for our future, to ensure someone you trust can make these crucial decisions at a time when it is needed and also cuts the costs of the alternatives available.
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document where someone (while they still have mental capacity) nominates a friend, relative or professional that they trust to look after their affairs, whether it be financial or welfare, if they lose capacity in the future.
Common illnesses such as cancer or heart disease can leave us reliant on other people and these illnesses can strike at any time, whether young or old.
Statistically more than 800,000 people in the UK have dementia, and the Alzheimer’s Society predicts this will rise to more than one million by 2025. It is reported also that every 90 seconds someone is admitted to hospital in the UK with a brain injury from an accident.
An LPA is a legal document where you name the people you’d like to make decisions for you when you either can’t or don’t want to make decisions for yourself. You can make an LPA for decisions about your money or about your health and welfare.
An LPA can be restricted so that it is only used if you can no longer make your own decisions – known as losing ‘mental capacity’. Or it can be unrestricted so it can be used when you want it to be used e.g. if you have a long stay in hospital, you can instruct it to be used to access your bank whilst you are physically incapacitated.
If you lose mental capacity, through illness or accident, and haven’t made a valid LPA then:
The people you choose to make decisions for you in an LPA are called ‘attorneys’. You can have one attorney or several. There are no special qualifications to be an attorney, but it must be someone that you trust, as it is an important role that they are to undertake. Anyone who’s over 18 can be an attorney, with a few exceptions. Many people choose family members or close friends as their attorneys. Some people choose professionals such as a solicitor or accountant. It is your choice who you have.
There are two types of LPA:
Dependant on the type of LPA you make, depends what decisions your Attorneys will be able to make.
No. Most people want the option of help with decision-making while they still have mental capacity. If that’s the case, your attorneys must act solely on your instructions and you can cancel your LPA at any time. Even when you lose mental capacity, your attorneys must involve you as much as possible in decision-making.
Here at Andrew Isaacs Law we want to help make the process of making an LPA as simple as possible. We therefore charge on a fixed fee basis, so it is clear what our charges will be.
In addition to the above the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) charges £82 each to register an LPA so it can be used (Both Property & Finances and Health & Welfare for one person would be £164.00 in registration fees). Please note that an LPA has to be registered at the OPG to be used. People receiving certain benefits or who have a low income can pay less or no registration fee, and we would discuss this with you.
Please note that home visits can be arranged but may incur additional costs.
Contact us to arrange a no obligation appointment.
Article dated: 16.01.2024