LASTING POWERS OF ATTORNEY

The Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) was replaced by the Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) a much longer and more complex document. All existing Enduring Powers of Attorney are still applicable but no new ones can be made on or after 1st October 2007.

If you make a will you are strongly advised to make a Lasting Power of Attorney so that if some day you become unable to manage your own affairs, because you have an accident or become mentally incapacitated, you can give the power by the lasting power of attorney to someone that you trust to make decisions on your behalf if or when that day comes.

You can create two types of LPA:-

The Property and Affairs LPA – allows you to choose someone to make decisions about how to spend your money and the way your property affairs are managed.

The Personal Welfare LPA – allows you to choose someone to make decisions about your healthcare and welfare which includes refusing or consenting to treatment on your behalf and deciding where you live.

An LPA has no legal standing until it is registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.

(1) You must have the mental capacity to make a lasting power of attorney and understand the implications of the document that you sign, if you don’t have one then by the time you really need one it’s too late

(2) A person is not to be regarded as unable to understand the information relevant to a decision if he is able to understand an explanation of it given to him in a way that is appropriate to his circumstances (using simple language, visual aids or any other means).

(3) The fact that a person is able to retain the information relevant to a decision for a short period only does not prevent him from being regarded as able to make the decision.

(4) The information relevant to a decision includes information about the reasonably foreseeable consequences of—

(a) deciding one way or another, or

(b) failing to make the decision.

If you have NOT appointed someone to deal with your affairs under an EPA (prior to 1/10/07) or under the new system using an LPA, then a relative or someone close to you would have to make an application to the Court of Protection to enable your financial affairs to be managed. This can take up to 10 months and cost up to £1,000 or more to process, during this time your finances could be damaged. The person who will be given authority to handle your affairs is unlikely to be the person you would have chosen, it may be a Court Official who will charge every time they act for you.

If you wish to make a Lasting Power of Attorney, please do not hesitate to contact this firm on +44 (0)208 539 0075, e-mail info@gmhewettsolicitor.com for a free competitive quotation.

This guide is intended as general information only it does not seek to summarise the relevant legislation which is a complex and technical area of law. You should take professional legal advice relating to your specific circumstances