A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that lets you (the ‘donor’) appoint one or more people (known as ‘attorneys’) to help you make decisions or to make decisions on your behalf. This gives you more control over what happens to you if you have an accident or an illness and cannot make your own decisions or, in some cases, if you are otherwise indisposed e.g. overseas.
You must be 18 or over to create an LPA and have mental capacity. You do not need to live in the UK or be a British citizen.
It can only be used when you have lost capacity.
It can be used as soon as it is registered or, if you prefer, only when you have lost capacity (the decision is yours).
If you do not create an LPA, in the event that you lose capacity, it would be necessary to make an application to the Court of Protection to appoint a Deputy to manage your affairs. The identity of the Deputy is chosen by the Court (not you) and the process is a slow and expensive one. This can cause your loved ones a lot of unnecessary stress and anxiety.
Due to an overwhelming increase in applications, the Office of the Public Guardian are currently taking approximately 20 weeks to register an LPA. Our professional advice is therefore to act now. If an LPA is made and created, it can simply be filed away, ready to be used if needed. Creating an LPA is akin to the purchase of a “just in case” insurance policy but with a one-off (not annual) fee. The fee is modest but should provide peace of mind to you and your family. You can revoke an LPA at any time you have capacity; the process is as simple as sending the original LPA and a prescribed statement to the Office of the Public Guardian.
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