Lasting Power of Attorney

No one likes to think that they may lose mental capacity but it is a sad fact that many people do.  A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), is the only sure way to protect your financial and medical affairs from being decided by a stranger.

The Facts

  • Today, if an adult loses the mental capacity to handle their own finances all their financial arrangements will be frozen!
  • In fact the British Bankers Association says that “if the other joint-account holder becomes mentally incapable, the bank or building society must get an order from the Court of Protection before they can let you use the account”.
  • Even as a spouse or family member you will be denied the access to accounts, unless you can provide Court authority that you can sign and act for that person. This means making an application to the Court of Protection to be appointed as Deputy. The person under the mental capacity will then be known as a “Patient of the Court”. There are various disadvantages to this happening.
  • In respect of Health & Welfare Deputyship, an initial application has to be made to the court to become a Deputy, this can be very costly.
  • If permission is granted the application to be appointed as Deputy can be made, costing a further £500 and this often takes many months before the order is granted.
  • The court will only ever appoint one Deputy, and if additional Deputies are required the whole process starts again incurring additional fees as described above.
  • The Patient doesn’t get to choose their own Deputy.
  • Deputies are supervised by the Court and annual supervision fees of up to £800 per year depending on the level of supervision required, are payable. They are supervised because the Court doesn’t know that the appointed Deputy is the person the patient would have chosen for themselves.
  • There is also the possibility that the Court may appoint a court official if they believe that the applicant is not suitable to act as a Deputy. Obviously if this happens, more costs will be incurred.

Watch a video from the BBC’s ‘The One Show’ – Dominic Littlewood talks to Heather Bateman about her experiences and read Heather’s story in her own words

Lasting Power of Attorney

Making a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is the only certain way to protect your interests in these circumstances. The Mental Capacity Act 2005 came into effect from October 1st 2007, with the Lasting Power of Attorney replacing the old Enduring Power of Attorney. If you make this document in advance of any mental incapacity, you can name who you wish to become your Attorneys and the reaches and limitations of the powers that you want them to have.

There are two kind of LPA available to you:

  • Property and Affairs. This LPA permits the attorneys you choose to look after your financial affairs when you are no longer able, but not your personal affairs.
  • Personal Welfare. This LPA permits your attorneys to act for you in respect of your personal affairs and welfare, but not your financial affairs.

Once these LPA’s are produced they need to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before they can be used.

Please get in touch with us now to arrange a FREE consultation to discuss the importance of Lasting Power of Attorney.