Head of private client, Natasha Booth, explains why setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is so important when it comes to our advanced care planning.
A startling 850,000 people are estimated to be living with Dementia in the UK, with this figure set to hit one million by 2025. Unfortunately, the time might come when many of us are unable to make important choices and decisions for ourselves.
These decisions might concern our property and financial affairs, or our health and welfare choices. As such, it is wise to consider creating a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) who will one day be able to take on these important decisions on your behalf.
A LPA is a legal document which allows the donor to appoint an attorney, usually a close relative or someone that they trust, who will be able to act on their behalf at some point in the future. Setting up a LPA gives you the chance to consider what kind of care you might wish to receive, or how you would like your finances to be handled.
There are two types of LPA available, a property and financial affairs LPA or a health and welfare LPA
A property and financial affairs LPA gives the attorney the power to pay bills, collect income or benefits, or even sell a house on the donor’s behalf.
The other type is a health and welfare LPA, which gives the attorney control over where the donor lives, day to day care and the ability to accept or refuse life sustaining treatment.
The initial step is to fill out the necessary form and have it signed by your selected attorney and witnesses. Once completed, the form should be sent to the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG), where it will be registered and documented.
As with creating a will, it can be tempting to write the documentation yourself as a cheaper alternative to instructing a solicitor, but this can be a risky and time consuming option. A standard LPA can take between 8-10 weeks to register if there are no mistakes in the application. If a mistake is made, you will have to resubmit the form and pay the fee again, adding costly delays to the process.
‘A standard LPA can take between 8-10 weeks to register if there are no mistakes in the application. If a mistake is made, you will have to resubmit the form and pay the fee again, adding costly delays to the process’
Natasha Booth | Head of Private Client,
Paul Crowley & Co. Solicitors
Setting up a LPA needn’t be a complicated process and can be tailored to suit your individual needs and requirements, with the right advice and guidance from your solicitor.