Power of Attorney

Officially referred to as a ‘Lasting Power of Attorney’ (LPA), this legal document allows you to appoint one or more people to make decisions about your health and welfare or your property and financial affairs on your behalf . These people will legally be known as your ‘attorney’s’. You can have a replacement attorney to act in the event that your original attorney is no longer able. Attorneys can make decisions for you when you no longer wish to, or when you lack the mental capacity to do so. A Lasting Power of Attorney cannot be used until it is registered with the Office of the Public Guardian and cannot be made unless the donor is over the age of 18 and has ‘mental capacity’ at the time when the LPA is being made. There are two different kinds of LPA, one for Health & Welfare and one for Property & Financial Affairs. You can use the Health & Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney to give an attorney the power to make decisions about things like your medical care, moving into a care home or life-sustaining treatment. This LPA can only be used when you’re unable to make your own decisions. The Property & Financial Affairs LPA can be used to give an attorney the power to make decisions about, for example, managing a bank account, paying bills, collecting benefits or a pension or selling your home. This LPA can be used as soon as it’s registered, with your permission. You can choose to have one type of LPA or both, but each kind of LPA needs to be completed and registered separately. There is a registration fee of £82 for each LPA and this is payable to the Office of the Public Guardian. In certain circumstances donors might be exempt from this fee or may be offered a fee reduction. You can end or change your LPA even if it’s been registered, as long as you still have mental capacity. You can also complain if you have concerns about your attorney, for example they’re not carrying out their responsibilities properly. An LPA does not allow someone to draft a Will on your behalf or to make changes to your Will. For more information on the different types of LPA, what mental capacity is, or fee exemptions please do not hesitate to call us on (020)73178930 or email advice@craiglaw.co.uk