What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

For most people, we don’t know when in the future we will get ill, or how quickly. Because you don’t know when you will need it, the best time to get your Lasting Powers in place is while you are still healthy! Once in place, then if/when you get ill, your chosen attorney(s) can ensure that the nuts and bolts of your life (your finances and health) are taken care of in the way you would want. They are designed to keep you in control of your life, in the event that you become unable to manage it yourself

A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document, registered with the Office of the Public Guardian, that enables you to nominate ‘Attorney(s)’ who are people who you trust, who can make decisions of your behalf, should you need them to do so.

There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney:

  1. Finances & Property Allows your Attorney(s) to manage your bank accounts, claim pensions, benefits, allowances, make tax returns, pay household expenses, buy, lease, sell property and pay for private medical care / residential care.
  2. Health & Wellbeing Allows your Attorney(s) to make decisions about your day to day living, holidays, what social activities you do, where you live and make decisions about what medical care you will receive, including (if you agree to it) whether or not you will receive life-sustaining treatment.

It is never be too early, but it does get too late!

Since we mostly don’t know when we will become incapacitated or get ill, these need to be arranged in advance, while you are healthy and have the capacity to do so. If you need support in the future because you become too ill to manage your affairs, a Lasting Power of Attorney enables a trusted individual to make decisions for you. If there is no Lasting Power of Attorney in place, and you become ill, you are at the mercy of professionals (health/social care workers) to make these decisions for you – and your banks will freeze your assets. This makes life very unpleasant and difficult for family members who are not able to support you in the way you/they would want to.

We therefore recommend you get a Lasting Power of Attorney as early as possible.

Retired couple sitting on bench together with mountains in background

What happens if I don’t have LPAs?

If you become incapacitated or unable to communicate…

Without a Property & Finance LPA, your bank will freeze any assets (including bank accounts) that are registered in your name. This includes joint bank accounts. Once this has happened, your representative (spouse or family member) would need to make an application to the Court of Protection in order to access these funds. This typically takes around 4 months and incurs significant Solicitor’s fees.

Without a Health & Wellbeing LPA, you will be at the mercy of Health & Social Care professionals to make decisions on your behalf. These professionals have no legal obligation to take into account the views of your family.

Register an LPA

 
 

Can I arrange a Lasting Power Attorney for myself?

In theory, you are able to register a Lasting Power of Attorney, yourself. You do not need to use a Solicitor (or professional Estate Planner) to do so. If you do this for yourself, though, you need to ensure all of the documentation is completed accurately and arrange for witnessing; you will also need to find your own Certificate Provide, which you may need to pay for.

For our fixed fee, we complete all the documentation for you, arrange for each section to be witnessed appropriately and will be your Certificate Provider.

How much does a LPA cost?

Our prices are fixed, with no hidden extra costs. We will prepare the LPA forms, act as the Certificate Provider, arrange for all forms to be witnessed appropriately and liaise with the Office of the Public Guardian.

We offer this at:

  • £250 +vat for single LPA
  • £450 +vat for both LPAs
  • £850 + vat for mirror LPAs for a couple (so 4 x LPAs in total)

In addition to our fees, The Office of the Public Guardian charge a flat fee of £82 (no vat) for each LPA.

Legal documents representing power of attorney

How long does it take to register a Lasting Power of Attorney?

Maplebrook Wills Shropshire will aim to have the application ready to be sent within 2 weeks. Once these forms are sent to the Office of The Public Guardian, it typically takes around 10-12 weeks for the LPAs to be registered.

Get started with your estate planning

Clients tell me how relieved they feel once their estate planning is in place - it’s one less thing to worry about. So get in touch and don’t put it off any longer!