Lasting Powers of Attorney

Atkins Dellow > Powers of Attorney Solicitors > Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)

Expert Powers of Attorney Solicitors

If you’re looking to create a Lasting Powers of Attorney, our expert team of Solicitors can help you create them to cover and protect you should you lose capacity and enable your loved ones to give you the help you need. For more information get in touch with our team today on 0330 912 8338.

Lasting Powers of Attorney are one of the most important documents you can create when it comes to how crucial they are if you lose capacity at some point in your lifetime.

They allow the people you trust most to act on your behalf and make decisions based on your health or finances that you would be unable to make, helping both you and them at a difficult time.

What Lasting Powers of Attorney Related Services do we provide?

Our team of expert Power of Attorney Solicitors can help with both Property & Financial Lasting Powers of Attorneys and Health & Welfare Lasting Powers of Attorney. For more information click below.

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Call 0330 912 8338 to have a chat with our expert Powers of Attorney Team. There’s no obligation.

Or email us with your query and we’ll help in any way we can.

Lasting Powers of Attorney FAQs

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), is one which sets out who you wish to represent you in the case that you become unable to make your own decisions and manage your personal care, property and financial affairs.

If you become unable to make decisions or deal with your affairs around medical treatment or finances, or if you have an accident, fall ill, or just need a little help, your appointed attorney can step in and continue to manage your affairs on your behalf. The decision as to who you choose is one which should be taken very carefully as the role carries great responsibility. This may be a professional adviser (perhaps a lawyer or an accountant), or it can be someone personal to you, for example a family member or friend. More than one attorney can be appointed, and they may be appointed to act jointly and or severally.

There are two different types of LPA that you need to consider. One covers your financial affairs, and the other covers management of your health and welfare in situations of reduced capacity.

Can I amend my LPA?

Once your LPAs have been registered, you must not amend it by writing on the completed LPA, otherwise it may become invalid and you will have to prepare new LPAs. Therefore, it is crucial that you review and confirm the details contained within your LPAs (full names, dates of birth and addresses), before you send them to the Office of the Public Guardian for registration.

What if I make a mistake on my LPA form?

If the LPA is unregistered, any mistake made can be crossed through and the correction must be written nearby and initialled in the margin opposite by the person who is completing that section of the form and their witness. If the LPA has been registered, the OPG will not allow for corrections of mistakes. This is because once the donor has signed and completed the form, it is believed that everything on the form written is accurate and true. A mistake could make your LPA invalid, so it is important that you provide the correct information for your LPAs.

If I move or my attorney moves how do I update our addresses?

A change of address does not require an updated LPA. If we have prepared your LPAs and have them in our storage facility, you can write to us by email or post confirming the updated address. This updated information will then be stored with your original LPAs or EPAs and will help assist in the future if your attorneys have any questions.

If I change my name after making an LPA does it matter?

Providing you have evidence of your new name that can be presented when required (i.e., a bank / financial institution will likely ask to see a copy of your marriage certificate if your maiden name is included in the LPA), this should not affect the validity of your LPA.

Can an attorney make gifts to others on my behalf under an LPA?

Yes, in certain circumstances.

Subject to any restrictions or conditions on gifting that you may have put in the LPA, an attorney can make gifts on your behalf to your family, friends or acquaintances on customary occasions – including birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, and/or religious festivals. If historically you’ve also supported/made gifts to a charity, your appointed attorney could also donate funds to that charity, though such gifts must be reasonable, proportionate and affordable to your estate and must not be detrimental to your care or quality of life.

Your attorney doesn’t necessarily have to give gifts (unless a court order or LPA instructs them to do so) and it’s important that your attorney doesn’t allow others to pressure them into giving gifts on your behalf.

In all cases your attorney should act in your best interests taking into account your current means at the time any gift-giving decision needs to be made, and also consider the impact it may have on your estate (all the money and property you own).

Refer to Making gifts under Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) article.

How long does an LPA document and appointment last for?

Once attorneys have been appointed by LPA and formally registered, the LPA will not expire until you are deceased. When that occurs, the LPA is no longer relevant, and any Will you have made – or if not, the intestacy rules – will apply to any control, decisions and/or actions relating to your estate.

Is it only elderly people that make LPAs?

No. Anyone who has dependants, property, businesses, investments and so on should put LPAs in place. None of us know what’s around the corner and having LPAs in place is as important as making a Will and having life insurance to protect your loved ones.

Will my spouse automatically become my power of attorney if I don't appoint one?

No. Just because you are married, does not mean that that person will automatically be given responsibility over your decisions and welfare. You must still create and register your powers of attorney in order for them to be given control over your finances and healthcare.

For more advice and information on how to approach this, reach out to our power of attorney solicitors.

If more than one attorney is appointed under an LPA do they both make every decision?

This depends on whether they have been appointed to act jointly (where they must make decisions unanimously) or jointly and severally (where they can make decisions independently, without reference to each other). This will be set out in the LPA documents.

When should I get an LPA?

The short answer is as soon as possible. LPAs are designed so that when you need them to, your appointed attorney(s) can step in and make decisions on your behalf. Whether you create a finances and/or a health and welfare LPA, the purpose is to ensure that your interests are protected by the people you trust to make the right decisions for you.

What happens if I lose mental capacity before appointing an LPA?

If you are no longer able to appoint an attorney under an LPA, an application may be made to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship Order – by which a named Deputy will be appointed to act in your best interests. In most cases, this is a Local Authority initially – and while it is possible to apply to have a relative appointed as a Deputy, this can be a long and expensive process.

How many LPAs do I need?

There are two different types of LPA that you can set up – one for financial affairs lasting power of attorney, and the other a health and welfare lasting power of attorney. You do not have to appoint different individuals for these two roles across the two types of LPA, but the option is there and it is often sensible to appoint different attorneys for different roles.

What do my attorneys need to know?

The role of attorneys is to comply with their obligations and follow any and all instructions set out in the LPA itself along with any wishes you may have expressed. We will help and advise you on setting out your wishes and instructions to your attorney(s) when you make your LPA(s). Your attorneys act on your behalf to communicate your wishes as best they can, considering the preferences and views you hold. The better your attorneys know you and your wishes, the better they can fulfil their role.
Any challenging decisions can be supported by power of attorney solicitors and/or the Court of Protection.

How do I talk to elderly parents/relatives about LPAs?

If you believe that elderly relatives are at risk of losing their ability to make decisions and need to make an LPA to appoint individuals to act for them, our team of experts are here to help.

We understand that making LPAs can be an overwhelming and difficult thing to face, both for elderly individuals and their family members. That’s why we always advise that clients and individuals approach such conversations carefully, try not to rush any decisions, or let emotions cloud their judgement. These are difficult decisions that must not be forced.

If I’ve made a Will, do I need a power of attorney?

Yes, you do. A power of attorney and a Will have different purposes. Your Will only comes into effect on your death. Your power of attorney allows others to act on your behalf during your lifetime and is only effective while you’re alive.

Do I need a solicitor or can I get the forms from the OPG?

It isn’t obligatory to use a solicitor to make an LPA. You can acquire forms from the OPG which you can complete yourself.

Do I need a separate LPA if I own a business?

If you own a business (sole trader, partnership or limited company) then ideally, you should have an LPA which specifically covers your business affairs and dovetails with any partnership or shareholders agreement in place. This will ensure that the business continues to run smoothly and that any financial decisions, salary payments, and business operational systems continue to run well should you be incapacitated for any reason.

One personal finance LPA may be suitable to cover both personal and business affairs but you should seek the advice of a solicitor who will be able to advise on the best way to proceed for the benefit of your business.

Who can be a certificate provider for an LPA?

A certificate provider must be someone independent of the application. This means they must not be related to the donor or the attorney(s), they must be over the age of 18 years old and know you well enough (at least two years) to confirm your capacity. The certificate provider may also be a professional such as a solicitor or doctor.

How many certificate providers do I need for an LPA?

You only require one independent certificate provider per LPA. You can use the same certificate provider for both LPAs, providing they are not named as an attorney in either one. The certificate provider’s signature is essential to prove that you have made your LPA with a full understanding of what you are appointing your attorneys to do on your behalf.

Can a certificate provider for an LPA be a relative?

No. A certificate provider must be independent from the donor and the attorneys and therefore cannot be a relative. This includes civil partners, spouses, in-laws and step-relatives.

Can a witness be a certificate provider for an LPA?

Yes. The certificate provider can be a witness to the donor’s signature and / or your attorneys signatures, and it is often the best choice, since the certificate provider must be present to certify the LPAs.

Who cannot be a certificate provider for an LPA?

A certificate provider cannot be any of the following:

• An attorney or a replacement attorney in the donor’s existing LPAs or in a power of attorney that the donor has made before.
• Related to the donor and / or an attorney named in the LPA. This includes partners, whether unmarried or in a civil partnership, in-laws and step-relatives.
• Related to the donor through business, such as a business partner or an employee. This includes a director or employee of a trust corporation that is an attorney under the LPA.
• If the donor resides in a care home, the certificate provider must not be a manager, director, or an employee of the care home.

If the certificate provider is any of the above, your LPA will not be valid.

What is the role of a certificate provider for an LPA?

A certificate provider confirms that the donor has made the LPAs with full understanding and capacity for the attorneys to make healthcare, property and financial decisions on their behalf should they lose capacity. The certificate provider also ensures that the donor has not been unduly coerced or pressured into preparing the LPAs.

If you are unable to make financial or health and welfare decisions for yourself, you need to be able to trust that your named attorney or attorneys will act with your best interests in mind, and that’s not all. Capacity issues can also give rise to the need for an LPA to appoint someone to act on behalf of dependents and minors, should you find that you are unable to care for them yourself. Again, the named attorney must be able to make decisions for those dependents for whom previously, you would have held responsibility.

Why would I use your services instead of just doing it myself?

Our power of attorney solicitors provide valuable advice, support and guidance throughout the process. We can help with any capacity issues including any necessary assessment(s), advice on choosing your attorneys and providing guidance for your appointed attorneys. We ensure that the documents are correctly prepared, signed and registered. Note, if there are errors in the forms or they are incorrectly signed, the OPG will reject the application to register them. We’ll answer any questions you have and make the process as easy for you as possible.

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Call 0330 912 8338 to have a chat with our Powers of Attorney experts.