Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)
Managing your finances and making decisions about medical treatment and long-term care can become complicated if you lose the mental capacity to make these decisions for yourself.
While you have the mental capacity you should make a Lasting Power of Attorney to avoid unnecessary expense in future and the uncertainty and anxiety your family and business partners would face if you become incapable of making decisions.
Making an LPA also means you get to choose who you would like to act on your behalf.
There are two types of LPAs:
- Property and Financial Affairs LPA
This type of LPA allows you to choose who you wish to be responsible for your financial, property and business concerns if you can no longer make decisions concerning them.
- Health and Welfare LPA
You can also put in place a Health & Welfare LPA to authorise decisions about your healthcare and personal welfare.
Both types of LPA must be registered with the office of the Public Guardian before they can be used. Failure to do this will result in a delay if the LPA is needed following incapacity.
Enduring Power of Attorney (“EPA”)
It was possible to make an EPA prior to October 2007. This type of power of attorney allowed someone to manage property and financial affairs. After October 2007 it has no longer been possible to create an EPA although if you executed one before then it can still be used by your attorney(s) to manage your financial, property and business affairs.
While this type of power of attorney could be used immediately after signature, it must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian if the person who granted the power has become or is becoming mentally incapable of managing their financial affairs.
What is the process for putting in place a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)?
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) sets out who you would like to make decisions on your behalf should you become unable to do so for yourself or should you choose to have a third party acting on your behalf. There are two types of LPAs: one for health and welfare and one for property and financial affairs. We would strongly recommend putting both types of LPA in place.
When you contact Beswicks’ private wealth team to enquire about LPAs we will have an initial conversation with you to establish the type of LPAs required. We will then set up a meeting either by phone, Microsoft Teams or at one of our offices.
At your meeting we will provide advice on the nature and consequences of creating an LPA. We will outline the options available, along with the anticipated costs and take your instructions.
Following the meeting we will send you terms of engagement, terms of business and a letter of advice. You will need to sign the terms document and make a payment on account. Once this payment is received, we can draft your LPA(s) in accordance with your instructions.
Once prepared, your draft LPA(s) will be sent to you for review. If you have feedback or questions, you can raise these with your solicitor, so that alterations can be made before you give final approval. Once you approve your LPA(s), we will arrange a signing meeting.
Signing your LPA(s) is an important legal step. This can take place in person with a member of our team supervising the signing or, if it is more convenient for you, we can provide instructions on the special rules on how to sign LPAs and you can sign your documents and send them back to us. If your nominated certificate provider and attorneys are not present, we will send them the relevant pages for signing along with clear instructions on the ramifications of signing and how this should be done.
Once all parties have signed, we will start the registration process. An application will be prepared and sent to the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) with the LPAs and registration fee.
Typically, preparation of your LPAs takes 2 weeks (provided all parties can sign promptly), and the current timeframe at the OPG is 14-16 weeks for them to register the documents.
When we receive the LPAs back from the OPG, you will be sent certified copies and letters of authority to deal with the circumstances in which you’re happy for these documents to be released.
Typically, the complete process takes approximately 18 weeks.