A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document which allows you to appoint one or more people you trust, known as attorneys, to help you make decisions or to make decisions on your behalf to look after your affairs.
This falls into two main categories:
- Financial Affairs and Property: In this instance you appoint people you trust to look after your financial affairs including property, investment and bank accounts.
- Health & Welfare: In this instance you appoint people you trust to look after your welfare, including any care requirements and medical treatment.
An LPA can be established to deal with either one or both of these areas.
Who Can Be Chosen as an Attorney?
- The person/s must be at least 18 years old at the time the LPA is put in place.
- The person/s must be someone you trust and know well.
- The person/s must not be bankrupt.
- The person/s can be professional attorneys.
How Should Joint Attorneys Act?
If you choose more than one person in your LPA a decision has to be made as to how you wish those persons to act. These are the options for decision making.
- Jointly: In this situation all Attorneys must join together to make decisions. If one Attorney is unable or unwilling to act the remaining Attorneys are not able to act.
- Jointly and Severally: In this situation Attorneys are able to act both together and independently of each other. This allows for greater flexibility and the ability for decisions to be made by one of more Attorneys even if the others are unable to act.
- Jointly in respect of some matters and Jointly and Severally in respect of others: If this option is chosen it is possible for the Donor to specify ahead of time certain circumstances in which the Attorneys must act together and circumstances in which they may act independently of each other.
It is important to note that Attorneys are required by law to act in the best interests of the Donor (or at their direction whilst the Donor possesses the capacity to give that direction).
In addition, all Lasting Power of attorneys (LPAs) have to be registered with the office of the public guardian for which there is an £82 fee per document unless you’re income is less than £12,000 gross a year. Or on claiming certain state benefits you will entitled to a fee reduction £41 per document.
For general informational purposes only, not intended or to be taken as legal advice. To make sure this is appropriate for you please seek advice and contact us.