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    You are here : Home » Useful Resources » Lasting Power Of Attorney (LPA)

    Lasting Power Of Attorney (LPA)

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    Lasting Power Of Attorney (LPA) - Property And Affairs

    Signing a documentWhat is this?
    This is a legal document authorising one or more people of your choice (your attorneys) to sign for you and to make decisions in relation to your financial affairs on your behalf during your lifetime. 

    LPAs take effect as soon as you want them to. They continue to have effect even if you become mentally incapable, for example, following an accident or through illness.

    In an LPA you can appoint substitute attorneys, impose restrictions on your attorneys’ powers and provide them with guidance.

    What type of decisions does this type of LPA cover?
    Almost anything that you can do yourself in relation to your own financial affairs, for example, pay bills, change investments, even sell your home.

    Who should make an LPA?
    Everyone.  No-one (not even a spouse) has the automatic right to sign for another.

    They allow your attorneys to sign for you should you become unable to sign for yourself, or if this becomes impractical (for example, you spend long periods abroad).

    If you become mentally incapable without having set up an LPA, your financial affairs will become subject to the Court of Protection. This is called ‘deputyship’. Under deputyship not only will you have no choice as to who manages your affairs, but the whole process is expensive, inflexible and frustrating, as your deputy will have to file annual accounts and, perhaps also, purchase a type of security bond.

    When should I make an LPA?
    If you become mentally incapable (whether suddenly or after a period of gradual decline), it is too late you will not be able to set up an LPA. Someone will then have to apply to become your deputy.

    We recommend therefore that you make an LPA as early as possible, so that if you become mentally incapable, your attorneys can take control of your financial affairs for you.

    Alternatively, you should make an LPA as soon as you know that you will face practical difficulties in signing for yourself in the future.

    Telephone:  01473 611211
    [email protected]

    Registration
    Before your attorneys can act for you, your LPA has to be registered with the office of the public guardian (OPG). The OPG will register your LPA 6 weeks (but sometimes longer) after receiving the application.  There is a £120 Court fee payable on registration (correct as at 14.08.09). After making your LPA, you do not have to register it immediately, as you might simply want to avoid the complications of deputyship later on.

    Once registered, your attorneys will be able to sign and make financial decisions on your behalf. We can provide certified copies of your registered LPA to prove your attorneys’ authority. Even after registration you will still be able to sign for yourself. Therefore you should consider registration as soon as you have completed your LPA, so that your attorneys can act urgently if necessary.

    Are there any alternatives?
    No. An LPA is the only way of authorising someone to sign for you if you become mentally incapable. There are, however, other types of power of attorney.

    Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) – These were replaced by LPAs on 7 October 2007. If you completed an EPA before 7 October 2007, then this remains valid even if you become mentally incapable. However, it is no longer possible to make a new EPA, or revise an existing EPA.

    General Power of Attorney (often called a section 10 power) – This allows someone to sign for you whilst you remain mentally capable. It is particularly useful for one-off matters, for example, to sell a house.

    Third party mandates – These are provided by banks and building societies etc. They authorise someone to sign for you in relation to a particular account only. They become invalid if you lose mental capacity.

    LPA (Personal Welfare) – This appoints someone to make decisions concerning your healthcare and welfare (including refusing life-sustaining treatment). This document only takes effect if you become unable to communicate your wishes yourself.

    What if I change my mind later on?
    You can revoke any form of power of attorney provided you are mentally capable.

    To make, register or cancel a power of attorney, or for advice, please contact:

    Barker Gotelee Solicitors, 41 Barrack Square, Martlesham Heath, Ipswich, IP5 3RF, DX 124722  MARTLESHAM HEATH. Tel: 01473 611211. Fax: 01473 610560. E-mail: [email protected]. www.barkergotelee.co.uk

    These notes are intended for general guidance only and should not be relied upon without detailed legal advice on your specific circumstances which we will be pleased to provide.

    © Multiple Sclerosis Resource Centre (MSRC) 

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