A Lasting Power of Attorney (or LPA) is a legal document which gives authority to another person to make decisions on behalf of the person making it (the donor). The attorney chosen will be able to make decisions for the donor when they become lacking in mental capacity or simply no longer wish to do so.
There are two types of LPA:
An LPA cannot be used until it is registered with the Office of Public Guardian.
You could also set up a General Power of Attorney, which gives someone else the power to handle your financial affairs for you, but this becomes invalid if you lose mental capacity.
Who Can Make a Lasting Power of Attorney?
To make an LPA, the donor must be over 18 and still have mental capacity. Someone can lack mental capacity because of an injury or condition, such as a car accident, stroke or dementia. Some people may have capacity to make decisions about some things but not others, or their capacity to make decisions may change from day to day. The donor must not have been put under any pressure to sign the document.
In order to be valid, an LPA has to be signed by a certificate provider who confirms that the donor understands what they are signing and was not pressurised to do so. This is normally the donor’s GP or solicitor.
There is currently a fee of £130 to register each LPA with the Office of Public Guardian, plus the legal fees for the preparation and registration of the documents.
If you want to know more about Lasting Powers of Attorney, contact Sarah Ryan on 01525 372 140 or sarahr_at_austinandcarnley.co.uk.
The contents of this article are intended for general information purposes only and shall not be deemed to be, or constitute legal advice. We cannot accept responsibility for any loss as a result of acts or omissions taken in respect of this article.
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