What exactly is an LPA?
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that sets out your wishes and allows you to choose:
- Who will make decisions / act for you (your “attorneys”).
- How your attorneys will make decisions (if they make them jointly, or jointly in some situations and on their own in others – or on their own if you only pick one).
- What decisions your attorneys can make for you (you can add specific preferences and instructions).
The two types of LPA’s
Property and financial affairs LPA
This type of LPA gives your attorney(s) the ability to:
- Manage your bank accounts
- Make or sell investments
- Pay your bills
- Buy or sell a property on your behalf
You can choose if this LPA can be used either only if you lose capacity, or as soon as it has been registered. A property and financial affairs LPA can be a useful way of someone you choose dealing with finances on your behalf, for instance if you needed to go into hospital or went away on holiday. It’s not only for if you lose capacity.
Health and welfare LPA
This type of LPA gives your attorney(s) the ability to make decisions about:
- Your medical treatment, including life sustaining treatment
- Where you live (moving into a care home)
- Day to day care (diet and daily routine)
A health and welfare LPA can only be used if you lose capacity.
Planning ahead with your LPA
Many people hold off making LPAs, thinking it is a task for the future: for instance, they find out they have the early signs of dementia and will have time to sort it out then. Just remember that mental capacity can be affected by sudden and unforeseen circumstances, such as a head injury due to an accident or an illness like a stroke, and you may not have any notice. car accident or illness and not only from a mental illness.
If you do not have LPAs and you lose capacity, then a family member or friend must apply to the Court of Protection for a deputyship order to manage your property and finances. This takes much longer and is more expensive than setting up LPAs in advance. If you don’t have any family or friends who can do it, a professional deputy may have to be appointed. They will charge you to act for you. Also, you have no control over who is going to manage your finances.
Health and welfare deputyship orders are rarely granted, as the court prefers to leave these decisions to be agreed between everyone involved with the person who has lost capacity (family, doctors, social workers, etc) or if they cannot agree, applications for individual decisions must be made to the court.
6 steps to setting up your LPA
Step 1: Your initial appointment
Make an appointment at our office with one of our friendly and experienced team to discuss your LPAs. The appointment generally takes around 30 minutes to an hour. We explain the whole application process and the implications of making LPAs, both for you and your attorneys.
Step 2: Drafting your LPA
Once we know exactly what you would like in your LPAs then we draft your documents and send them to you in the post for checking.
Step 3: Amendments
You need to review your LPAs then contact us with any amendments you may have. At this point, we will arrange another appointment for you to sign your LPAs.
Step 4: Second appointment
This is your opportunity to go through your LPAs at our office with us and ensure you are happy with them and all details are correct. Once you have signed your LPAs, they will be witnessed and dated. In this appointment, we will also try to arrange for the LPAs to be signed by a certificate provider. This is someone who certifies you have the capacity to make an LPA and have not been forced to do it. The certificate provider is either doing this in a professional capacity or in a personal capacity (if they have known you for two years). The appointment generally takes around 30 minutes.
Step 5: Attorney signatures
We will arrange for your attorney(s) to sign the LPAs, preferably at our office, or we can send them the LPAs to sign and return to us.
Step 6: Registration by the OPG
We then complete an application to register the LPAs and send everything to the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). This is the government body which oversees LPAs and attorneys. They take up to 20 weeks* to register them and then return them to us (if they do not have any queries). Following registration, we will send you the registered LPAs via recorded delivery (or you can collect them from us). You will then have them to hand at home should you ever need them. We advise you to let your attorneys know where you keep them.
|1 LPA (e.g. finance or health)/td>||£500 plus VAT||(£600)|
|2 LPAs (e.g. finance & health or finance for a couple)||£750 plus VAT||(£900)|
|4 LPAs (e.g. finance & health for a couple)||£1,000 plus VAT||(£1,200)|
Plus £82* registration fee payable to the OPG per LPA (£41* if you receive certain benefits or your assets are below a certain amount).
*As of January 2023.
NB: timescales and fees are subject to change – please ask for details.
If you want to choose someone to make decisions on your health and welfare when you cannot, then yes. That way, you can pick someone you trust and explain to them any preferences you have so that if the day comes when you cannot make those decisions yourself, they have the legal authority to do so on your behalf.
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document which allows a person (the donor) to appoint someone or more than one person they trust (attorneys) to make decisions for them when they no longer have the mental capacity to make the decisions themselves. An LPA has to be made while the donor still has the mental capacity to give their consent to it.
Both Lasting and Enduring Powers of Attorney can usually only be used by your attorneys once they are registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.