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Lasting Power of Attorney
No one wants to think about what would happen to them or loved ones if they were to have an accident or suffer from an illness that resulted in the loss of mental capacity preventing them from making their own decisions. However, if that happens, the problems it can create can be heartbreaking and worrying for all concerned.
Putting in place a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) whilst you still have the mental capacity to sign one – even if it is not needed now – can take away all that stress and worry. The reason is that the document remains valid if you later lose capacity and empowers your Attorneys to do what you yourself could have done if you were still able.
The Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA) provides a framework to protect vulnerable people over the age of 16 who cannot make their own decisions. If someone cannot make a certain decision for themselves, they are said to ‘lack capacity’ to make the decision. People working with or caring for adults who lack the capacity to make decisions for themselves have a legal duty to consider the Mental Capacity Act Code of Practice.
Our experienced Lasting Power of Attorney Solicitors can provide the expertise and guidance surrounding all areas of LPA and the Mental Capacity Act, please call on 023 9244 8100 or make an online enquiry to find out how we can help you.
What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legally binding document that enables you to appoint one or more people the legal authority to make decisions on your behalf regarding specific aspects of your health and welfare, and/or property and finances should you lose the capacity to do so. Regardless of your age, mental and physical incapacity can hit at any time, so we recommend planning ahead to ease the potential burden on loved ones.
Naturally, you may be concerned at the prospect of your Attorneys being able to access your finances and interfere in your affairs but in reality, you remain in control.
LPAs are like an insurance policy for the future, providing peace of mind that your wishes will be respected should you lose the ability to make decisions for yourself. A Lasting Power of Attorney can be just as important as writing your Will, so why not fill in our Lasting Power of Attorney Questionnaire and one of our team will contact you to discuss your individual requirements.
Whilst it is possible to draft your own LPA by downloading online versions, you need to register them with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) for the Lasting Power of Attorney to be effective. There is a danger that without seeking the right legal advice, you could make errors of judgement in drafting the forms, resulting in difficulties for your attorneys in the future or even result in the OPG rejecting it.
Court of Protection & Deputyship Order
If you do not have an LPA (whether registered or not) and you lose your mental capacity, it is too late to sign up for one then. In those circumstances, somebody may then have to apply to the Court of Protection to be appointed what is called your “Deputy”. That process is involved, expensive, intrusive and lengthy.
The ‘Deputy’ is an individual that is appointed by the Court of Protection to make decisions for a person who is no longer able to make decisions for themselves. Typically, a deputy would be a family member or close friend. However, you can also appoint a professional person, such as a solicitor.
A Deputyship Order allows an individual the same access to your personal affairs that an LPA would do, had once been executed. If this has happened, you should contact our specialist LPA solicitors, who can provide you with all the information you need, offering you sensitive guidance and practical advice.
We will always ensure you are fully aware of all costs involved and your solicitor will explain these to you. We offer fixed fees on one Lasting Power of Attorney (either Property and Financial Affairs or Health and Welfare) at £450 plus VAT, both Lasting Power of Attorney for one person at £750 plus VAT and for couples, all four Lasting Powers of Attorney for £1000 plus VAT. A Court Registration Fee of £82 per Lasting Power of Attorney document is required in addition to our fees. However, this Court Registration Fee is subject to income and could be less or reduced to nil if on certain benefits.
Standard charges awarded by the Court for a Deputyship Application are £950.00 plus VAT together with a Court fee of £371.00. A solicitor will discuss this with you are the outset of any enquiry. More information on our fees and disbursements can be found by clicking here:
Our Lasting Power of Attorney Team
Our Lasting Power of Attorney solicitors at Larcomes will be happy to speak with you regarding all areas of LPA and the law surrounding the mental capacity act. We will work for you and your family to find the right solution tailored to your situation.
You can find out more about our team by clicking on the links below;
To speak with one of our Lasting Power of Attorney team please give us a call on 023 9244 8100 or make an online enquiry