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Lasting Power of Attorney Solicitors
If you become unable to make decisions about your own affairs, whether due to health-related issues or absence from the UK, a lasting power of attorney (LPA) will ensure that a person you trust receives legal permission to make decisions for you.
For example, a health and welfare LPA can be used to ensure there will be a person you can trust to make important decisions about ongoing care or living arrangements if you lose the mental capacity to do so. A property and financial affairs LPA authorises your attorneys to manage your personal assets on your behalf.
The wills and probate team at JMW Solicitors can guide you through this often complicated area of law, using our vast experience to ensure you get an outcome that's right for you. We can provide friendly and useful advice on creating an LPA that best suits your needs.
To get started, call us on 0345 872 6666 today, or fill in our online enquiry form to request a call back. For more information on lasting powers of attorney, please take a look at our LPA factsheet; if you are looking specifically for an LPA for your business, go to our business LPA page.
How JMW Can Help
Our expert wills, trust and estate planning solicitors have helped people from many backgrounds to set up an LPA, and are dedicated to making the process as simple and stress-free as possible, giving you peace of mind that your affairs will be taken care of properly.
We can walk you through the entire process, helping you select individuals who are trustworthy and will make decisions with your best interests in mind, advising on any safeguards or instructions that you want to include, and assisting you with all of the necessary paperwork and legal procedures required to put together a document that reflects your specific needs.
JMW Solicitors is highly experienced in this field, and our team are often asked to give seminars on wills, trusts and estate planning, Inheritance Tax and other related topics. Several of our lawyers are also members of the highly-respected Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP), further underlining our expertise.
The firm has been regularly hailed as one of the best in the business in the Chambers and Legal 500 guides, with Chambers 2019 noting that we deal with “both small everyday matters or complex transactions involving many legal areas” and that “there is always an expert on hand to guide clients, whatever the issue”.
How does a lasting power of attorney work?
A lasting power of attorney (LPA) is a document that designates another person or several people as having the authority to make decisions on your behalf, when you no longer have the mental capacity to do so yourself.
To make an LPA, you must be over the age of 18 and have sufficient mental capacity to make the document. This must be done personally, as it is not possible to make an LPA on another person’s behalf
Who can I appoint as my attorney?
All sorts of people can be appointed as an attorney under an LPA, including:
- Your spouse or civil partner
- Your children (as long as they are over 18)
- A member of your family
- A close friend
- An accountant
- A solicitor
- A company
You should seek to appoint people who you know are trustworthy and will make decisions with your best interests in mind. It is also possible to appoint more than one attorney, and to appoint replacement attorneys when necessary.
What kind of affairs can my attorney handle under a health and welfare LPA?
If you create a health and welfare LPA, your attorney can handle the following matters if you lack sufficient mental capacity to make such decisions yourself:
- Give or refuse consent to medical treatment, including life-sustaining treatment
- Discuss your medical records and requirements with doctors and other healthcare professionals
- Make decisions concerning dental or optical treatment
- Make decisions concerning where you live, including decisions on whether you remain living in your own home, whether you receive care in your own home, or whether you move into a care home that is appropriate for your needs
- Make decisions concerning your day-to-day life, including decisions on your daily activities, your diet and your appearance
What kind of affairs can my attorney handle under a property and financial affairs LPA?
If you create a property and financial affairs LPA, your attorney can handle the following matters:
- Buying, selling and renting your property
- Renovating or repairing your property, if required
- Managing your bank accounts
- Managing your investments
- Paying your household bills
- Paying your nursing or residential care home fees
- Collecting your income, including pensions, state benefits and employment income
- Purchasing any necessary equipment or personal items that you may need
- Buying small gifts on your behalf, for occasions such as a relative’s birthday, weddings or for religious holidays
Can I limit the authority that I give to my attorney?
Yes - it is possible to place restrictions within the LPA document to limit what your attorney can do on your behalf. It is also possible to offer written guidance to your attorneys, should you wish to do so.
Can I cancel the lasting power of attorney?
Yes - you can cancel the LPA at any time, provided that you have sufficient mental capacity to do so.
Does making a lasting power of attorney affect my will?
No - the two documents are completely separate. An LPA is only effective during your lifetime; upon your death, the LPA will cease and the will takes effect instead, so it is essential to make a will to ensure your wishes are carried out.
What is the difference between lasting power of attorney and Court of Protection deputyship?
LPAs are used when one individual wishes to personally nominate another to make legal and financial decisions on their behalf in the future, while Court of Protection deputyship is used when the person in question has already lost the mental capacity, meaning another person has to request the ability from the Court to handle their affairs.
What’s the difference between an enduring power of attorney and a lasting power of attorney?
From October 2007, enduring powers of attorney (EPA) were replaced with lasting powers of attorney and phased out. EPAs made prior to this date are still valid, and are equivalent to property and financial affairs LPAs, meaning their authority does not extend to health and welfare.
An EPA must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian if it is deemed that the person who created the document has either lost or is losing their mental capacity.