At Ringrose Law, we understand that sometimes in life it’s necessary to ask others to make decisions and manage your affairs on your behalf. If you are in this situation or you are helping someone else deal with their financial affairs, we can help.
A power of attorney is a legal document where a person gives another person or persons (the attorney) authority to make certain decisions on his or her behalf.
If you need further advice on Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) we can help. Our dedicated and experienced Wills & probate team have years of experience in dealing with Lasting Powers of Attorney and work closely with clients on a day to day basis in ensuring the proper completion and registration of these documents. For further details contact us at one of our offices across Lincolnshire and Nottinghamshire in Boston, Grantham, Lincoln, Newark, Sleaford and Spalding. Alternatively, click on our Lasting Powers of Attorney Factsheet download for further information.
Types of Lasting Powers of Attorney
There are two types of LPAs:
- A property and affairs LPA, allows your attorney authority to deal with your property and finances.
- A Health & Welfare LPA, allows your attorney to make welfare and health care decisions on your behalf, but only when you lack mental capacity to do so yourself. This could also extend, if you wish, to your attorney giving or refusing consent to the continuation of life sustaining treatment.
Appointing an attorney is a very important decision and you should give serious consideration before appointing anyone. Your attorney should be trustworthy and have appropriate skills to make the proposed decisions. If you appoint more than one attorney, you can appoint them to always act together (jointly) or together or separately (jointly and severally). You may even appoint them to act jointly for some things and jointly and severally for others, although this should only be done with advice, as it may cause problems when using the power.
You may also choose to appoint a successor to your attorney, in case they die or otherwise cannot act for you.
When can the Attorney act?
The attorney will only be able to act when the Lasting Powers of Attorney has been signed by you and your attorney. The LPA must also be certified by a qualified person to demonstrate that you understand the nature and scope of the LPA and have not been unduly pressured into making the power and that there has not been any fraud. It must then be registered with the Office of Public Guardian before it can be used. The property and affairs LPA can be used both when you have capacity to act, as well as if you lack mental capacity to make a financial decision. The Health & Welfare power can only be used if you lack mental capacity to make a welfare or medical decision.
What happens if you do not make a Lasting Powers of Attorney?
If you lack capacity to make a financial decision, then it may be necessary for an application to be made to the Court of Protection for an order, requesting the court to appoint another person to make decisions on your behalf. We can help with this, click here for details.
Most care and treatment decisions can be made on your behalf without the need for a court application. However, if you wish to avoid potential disputes, you can give a person(s) authority to make those decisions on your behalf by making a Health & Welfare LPA.
We can help
For further information on Lasting Powers of Attorney contact our experienced Wills and Probate team today. We can talk you through the process and advise you on the next best steps. We have offices across Lincolnshire & Nottinghamshire in Boston, Grantham, Lincoln, Newark, Sleaford and Spalding.