Do you need to give someone else authority to manage your affairs when you’re not available to do so yourself? If so, our Power of Attorney solicitors can help and provide you with expert legal advice.
Power of Attorney
An ordinary power of attorney is a legal document authorising one or more people to handle your financial affairs. It’s only valid while you still have the mental capacity to make your own decisions. You may want to set one up if, for example:
- You need someone to act for you for a temporary period, such as while you’re on holiday
- You wish someone to act for you only while you’re able to supervise their actions.
A power of attorney gives the attorney (the person you choose to act for you) a legal document that proves their powers.
It’s up to you to decide what it covers. It can be a general power, without restrictions, or give limited powers only to do a specific task, for example, to sell a house.
In either case, you can still also act for yourself. An ordinary power of attorney is only valid while you are capable of giving instructions. If you lost mental capacity, an ordinary power of attorney could no longer be used.
Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)
If you want someone to be able to act for you when you lose the capacity to make your own decisions, you should consider a lasting power of attorney (LPA) rather than an ordinary power of attorney. Setting up a lasting power of attorney can ensure that your wishes are carried out if you lose capacity.
While we all hope to avoid suffering conditions which affect our mental capacity, for example dementia there are practical steps we should all be thinking about how to plan for the future in case of problems in later life. In particular, it is prudent to enter into an LPA. It’s the old story of fixing the roof while the sun is shining. Without one, who would handle the things if you were unwell due to dementia, stroke or another incapacity?
A lasting power of attorney is a legal document you can enter into, appointing one or more people to act as attorneys to handle your affairs in case you become unwell later. You can have one or more attorneys acting together or separately, to make decisions, i.e. financial decisions on your behalf. You can appoint replacements in case the first attorneys cannot act. For example, you could appoint multiple family members as your first and replacement attorneys, such as your spouse as the first attorney with a child as a replacement attorney.
Types of LPA (Lasting Power of Attorney)
There are two types:
- An LPA for Property and Affairs would cover for example paying bills, selling your property, collecting pensions and generally looking after your affairs
- An LPA for Health and Welfare can cover personal matters such as where you live, care plans and even medical treatment including end-of-life issues. These are sensitive personal issues and it is important that your attorneys should know your wishes.
It is possible to include preferences and instructions within both types of LPA and our power of attorney solicitors can give guidance on this depending on your circumstances.
Sometimes our clients wish to enter into an LPA but they do not have someone they feel they can appoint, for example if their family live far away or they don’t have a close relationship with them. In these circumstances, clients may decide to appoint a professional attorney such as a solicitor. We are able to offer this service if required and our power of attorney solicitors could discuss this further with you at an appointment. We would only be able to act in respect of someone’s financial affairs.
Before an LPA can be used, it must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. This can take months rather than weeks. Our power of attorney solicitors can ensure registration goes smoothly for you. This can avoid delays later. Once registered, it can be kept in a safe place until needed.
Although you can no longer make an Enduring Power of Attorney, those that were created prior to October 2007 are still valid. When the person loses capacity, the attorneys are under a duty to register the EPA.Our power of attorney specialists can provide you with support during this process.
If you were to lose capacity without an LPA in place, your loved ones would likely need to apply to the Court of Protection to be appointed to look after your affairs. This can be a long and expensive process and the person appointed may not be who you would have chosen yourself.
The important thing is that writing an LPA gives you the chance now to make plans and arrangements for the future in case the worst happens. It is a sort of insurance to ensure people you trust are handling your most important personal affairs.
How Our Power of Attorney Solicitors Can Help
Our power of attorney solicitors have many years of experience in dealing with these matters and can guide you through the choices involved in writing a document that is right for you and your family members.
You can begin writing an LPA by contacting Cliff Veitch and his team. We have many years of experience of these matters and can guide you through the choices involved in writing a document that is right for you. We can also work to a fixed price fee budget with no surprise charges.
It is often the case that clients will consider reviewing their Will at the same time as entering into LPAs and we offer packages when clients proceed with Wills and LPAs at the same time. The prices below are based on simple Wills and the Wills and LPAs being done at the same time. If you are interested in one of the packages but think your Will instructions may be more complex, please give us a call on 0191 232 9547 and we can provide you with a tailored quote.
|Single Person Packages||Price||Savings|
|Simple Will & 1 LPA||£725 inc VAT plus £82 OPG registration fee||Includes saving of £50 inc VAT|
|Simple Will & 2 LPAs||£1,100 inc VAT plus £82 per LPA OPG registration fees||Includes savings of £155 inc VAT|
|Simple Mirror Wills & 1 LPA each||£1,150 inc VAT plus £82 per LPA OPG registration fees||Includes savings of £205 inc VAT|
|Simple Mirror Wills & 2 LPAs each||£1,850 inc VAT plus £82 per LPA OPG registration fees||Includes savings of £465 inc VAT|
If you are looking for further help with life planning, our team can help:
For more information and expert legal advice, please contact our power of attorney solicitors at 0191 232 9547 and ask to speak to a member of our team for more information.