Lasting Powers of Attorney
Taking care of your future
People often overlook putting arrangements in place to protect themselves should they become unable to look after themselves, either through mental impairment or physical disability.
Imagine if, due to an accident at work, you were left unable to make the day-to-day decisions about how your bills can be paid? Who would be able to access your bank accounts? Who would be able to give or refuse consent on your behalf for life sustaining treatment? These concerns become all the more distressing at the most difficult of times.
With a Lasting Power of Attorney, you can put arrangements in place now that ensure that, should anything happen to you, your loved ones are left secure in the knowledge that they know exactly how to deal with things, but also have the power and ability to implement your wishes without resorting to lengthy court proceedings.
Creating a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is straightforward, and our experienced team can guide you through every step of the process. Prices start from £350+VAT.
Our Lasting Powers of Attorney solicitors in Wakefield and Ossett have the experience to make setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney as simple and stress-free as possible, giving you peace of mind for the future.
For more information about Lasting Powers of Attorney, please contact Liz Fyfe or Jessica Orme on 01924 290 029 or request a call back and a member of our team will be in touch promptly.
Our legal services for Lasting Powers of Attorney
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that appoints one or more people to assist you in making decisions or make decisions for you if you lose the capacity to make those decisions yourself. The person who sets up an LPA is known as the ‘donor’ while the people they appoint are known as ‘attorneys’.
You may be considered to have lost the capacity to make decisions for yourself if you can no longer:
- Understand important information needed to make a decision
- Remember that information long enough to make a decision
- Properly consider appropriate information when making a decision
- Communicate your decisions
There are two types of LPA you can set up:
- Health & welfare
- Property & financial affairs
Lasting Power of Attorney for Health & Welfare
An LPA for Health & Welfare allows the nominated person or people to make or assist with decisions about anything related to your health and general welfare.
This can include things like:
- What medical treatment you receive
- Where you are cared for
- What type of care you receive
- Your diet
- How you dress
- Your daily routine
An LPA can include specific instructions and any preferences you have e.g. dietary restrictions or whether you wish to receive life-sustaining treatment if this becomes necessary.
Lasting Power of Attorney for Property & Financial Affairs
An LPA for Property & Financial Affairs grants your attorney the power to make or help you to make decisions about issues including:
- Money, including bank & building society accounts
- Bills and taxes
- Pensions & other income, such as benefits
Unless the LPA specifically states otherwise, a Property & Financial Affairs attorney is able to make decisions over issues such:
- Selling the donor’s home
- Making gifts to the donor’s friends and family
- Donations to charities
- Making a statutory Will
Common questions about Lasting Powers of Attorney
How do you set up a Lasting Power of Attorney?
To create a Lasting Power of Attorney, you will need to:
- Choose an attorney or attorneys to act for you
- Fill out the appropriate form (or have your solicitor do this for you)
- Register the LPA with the Office of the Public Guardian
Creating an LPA can take up to around 3 months and it is strongly recommended to have an experienced solicitor help you with the process to ensure all of the relevant issues are correctly considered and accounted for.
Who can be an attorney for an LPA?
An attorney can be anyone aged 18 or over. Typically, they will be a spouse, partner, family member of close friends. However, some people choose to nominate a professional attorney, who could be a solicitor, accountant or other relevant professional, giving you the benefit of their skills and judgement. An attorney cannot be bankrupt if appointed as an attorney for property and financial affairs.
Can you have more than one attorney for an LPA?
You can have more than one attorney, in fact, there is no limit on the number you can have. If you choose to nominate more than one, you can decide how they will make decisions for you.
There are three main options for how attorneys can make decisions:
Jointly – Your attorneys will need to agree all decisions unanimously. This means individual attorneys cannot act alone, which could be a problem under some circumstances e.g. if you were hospitalised and not all of your attorneys could be reached in time to make a critical decision. Be careful as if you chose this option and one of your attorneys dies or becomes unable to act the other attorneys can no longer make decisions unless you have appointed a replacement attorney.
Jointly and severally – Your attorneys can act together but can also act individually. This provides the most flexibility, as if one of your attorneys dies or becomes unable to act or is unavailable decisions can still be made, however, this runs the risk of an attorney making a decision for you that the other attorneys do not agree with e.g. over when to sell your home.
A mixture of jointly & jointly and severally – You can specify that your attorneys need to agree on certain decisions e.g. selling your house, but can act independently in an emergency e.g. if a quick decision is needed about medical treatment.
What is the difference between a Lasting Power of Attorney and an Enduring Power of Attorney?
Enduring Powers of Attorney (EPAs) preceded Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) and provided some of the same functions. The key differences were that EPAs could not be used to manage health or welfare issues and assumed the donor either had complete mental capacity or none at all.
EPAs therefore failed to make provisions for people who had partial capacity or fluctuating capacity and so only needed assistance with decisions, rather than for someone else to be wholly responsible for making decisions for them.
LPAs replaced EPAs from 1 October 2007.
Is an Enduring Power of Attorney still valid?
An Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before October 2007 will still be legally valid. An EPA created and signed by the donor before October 2007 can also still be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.
Can I get Lasting Power of Attorney for someone who is incapacitated?
A Lasting Power of Attorney must be set up by the person whose affairs it is intended to deal with while they still have the capacity to make decisions for themselves.
If your loved one has already lost the capacity to make decisions, you will instead need to apply to become a Court of Protection deputy to gain the power to manage their affairs. Our solicitors can assist and guide you through this legal process and please get in touch for a free initial consultation.
Why choose Thornton Jones’ Lasting Powers of Attorney solicitors in Wakefield and Ossett?
Our Lasting Powers of Attorney solicitors have been supporting individuals and families with planning for incapacity for many years. We offer sensitive but practical advice and supporting, helping you to put in place the measures you need to ensure your long-term wellbeing and financial security.
Every Thornton Jones client receives the support and attention of a senior member of our team – a service most larger firms cannot match. As a result, our team can guarantee you the very best expertise and client care, helping you to quickly and efficiently find the right legal options for you.
We are regulated by the Solicitors Regulation Authority (SRA) providing assurance that we continually meet the highest legal and professional standards.
Get in touch with our Lasting Powers of Attorney solicitors in West Yorkshire
Speak to our Lasting Powers of Attorney solicitors in Ossett and Wakefield, West Yorkshire today by calling 01924 290 029 or ask a question using our online enquiry form.