A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a way to ensure that the people you trust will be able to take important decisions on your behalf if you become mentally or physically incapable of doing so for yourself.
While LPAs are most often used to deal with the affairs of the elderly, if they are prepared much earlier in life, they can give the same protection in the event of incapacity as a result of illness or accident.
You can choose to create an LPA in relation to either your property and financial affairs or health and welfare, or both.
At SMR Solicitors, we can draw up an LPA on your behalf and advise you in respect of the contents. Where necessary, we can deal with the registration of the document with the Office of the Public Guardian. Our team of solicitors for Powers of Attorney has extensive experience in this area of law and can talk through the implications of making an LPA with you, answering any questions you may have.
Our LPA services include:
- Discussing your needs and advising you in respect of the different types of LPA
- Drafting a health and welfare LPA and/or a property and financial affairs LPA tailored to your specific requirements
- Ensuring that those who need to know about the LPA are notified
- Advising you in respect of registration of your LPA
- Registering your LPA with the Office of the Public Guardian
- Liaising with the Office of the Public Guardian and replying to their enquiries as necessary
- Drawing up and filing a deed of revocation of an LPA
- Advice for attorneys who will be using an LPA
Our LPA solicitors are understanding and approachable. We serve clients across West Sussex, offering a flexible service that will meet your needs in the best way for you. We are happy to meet face-to-face or by video link as well as deal with matters by telephone or email.
We provide an initial 1-hour fixed fee consultation which gives you the opportunity to tell us about your situation and ask questions about the best way of proceeding. We will give you an attendance note detailing the matters discussed and our advice to you.
For information about other related matters we can help with, please see our Elderly Client Services page.
Speak to our Lasting Power of Attorney solicitors in West Sussex
To discuss your LPA needs and find out how we can help, please get in touch to speak to one of our expert Lasting Power of Attorney lawyers.
Our Lasting Power of Attorney solicitors’ fees
We know how important it is that costs are clear from the start so that you know exactly what the work will involve. We always make sure that our fees are transparent, and we offer flexible funding as well as fixed fee LPA work for some matters.
If an issue is more complicated and a fixed fee is not appropriate, we will agree on an hourly rate with you based on the expertise required.
If you would like to talk to us about the likely costs of a Lasting Power of Attorney, we would be happy to hear from you. Please feel free to contact us.
Lasting powers of Attorney explained
What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
A Lasting Power of Attorney or LPA is a legal document allowing you to give authority to someone you trust so that they can deal with your affairs on your behalf, should you ever become unable to manage them yourself.
If someone loses mental capacity and does not have an LPA in place, then no one will be able to deal with matters for them. This could cause difficulties with tasks such as paying bills or arranging for care.
Without an LPA, an application for a deputyship order would need to be made to the Court of Protection. This can be a lengthy process and is generally more complicated and more expensive than putting an LPA in place.
With an LPA, you can also be sure that someone will be able to step in straight away if needed.
You can appoint one or more attorneys to act on your behalf. You can register the LPA straight away with the Office of the Public Guardian so that it is ready to use, or you can store it until it is needed and leave it to your attorney to register at that time.
What types of Lasting Powers of Attorney are there?
There are two types of LPA – an LPA in respect of health and welfare and in respect of property and financial affairs.
Health and welfare Lasting Power of Attorney
This covers all decisions in relation to your health and social care. It can only be used when a person has lost mental or physical capacity.
It includes the following areas:
- where an individual might live
- day-to-day care
- consent to medical treatment
- arrangements for medical treatment to be provided
- arrangements for assessments, such as in relation to nursing services
- the refusal of or consent to life-sustaining treatment
Property and financial affairs
This covers all decisions in relation to the management of finances. In this case, individuals can authorise attorneys to make decisions on their behalf even if they still have sufficient mental or physical capacity, if it is more convenient to do so.
It includes the following areas:
- Arrangements for investments
- Withdrawals of cash
- Payment of bills
- Sales of property
Does a Lasting Power of Attorney expire?
A Lasting Power of Attorney does not expire but lasts until the death of the donor or the death of the attorney, where only one attorney was appointed.
It will also cease to have effect if you and the attorney divorce or where your attorney lacks the mental capacity to take on the role.
Can a Lasting Power of Attorney be cancelled?
An LPA can be cancelled or revoked at any time by the donor, provided they still have the mental capacity to do so.
A deed of revocation will need to be drawn up and signed. Where the LPA has been registered, the deed of revocation should be sent to the Office of the Public Guardian. Copies will also need to be sent to the attorneys who were appointed under the LPA.
What is the difference between a Lasting Power of Attorney and an Enduring Power of Attorney?
Lasting Powers of Attorney replaced Enduring Powers of Attorney in October 2007. LPAs are more flexible, although Enduring Powers of Attorney remain valid.
Under an Enduring Power of Attorney, you cannot deal with health and welfare issues. If you appoint more than one attorney, they must act together, all agreeing jointly on any decision and all authorising it. This can make it harder and more cumbersome to deal with someone’s affairs.
If you use an LPA, you can appoint replacement attorneys who will step in to act, should your first choice be unable or unwilling to take on the role. You can also appoint more than one attorney and give them the authority to act separately, meaning that they do not all have to approve each transaction.
If you have an Enduring Power of Attorney in place, it may be advisable to replace this with the more workable LPA.