Life is unpredictable, and it is essential to plan ahead to ensure that your wishes are upheld, even when you are unable to make decisions for yourself. Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) are valuable legal instruments that can help safeguard your future and maintain control over your health, wellbeing, and financial affairs in the event of incapacity. In this article, we will discuss the different types of LPA, their functions, the process of creating and registering them, and how they can provide a safety net for you and your family.
LPA are legal documents that allow you, as the donor, to designate one or more trusted individuals, known as attorneys, to make critical decisions on your behalf should you lose the capacity to do so. There are two types of LPA: Health and Welfare LPA, and Property and Financial Affairs LPA. Each type serves a distinct purpose and can be tailored to reflect your unique needs and preferences.
Health and Welfare LPA grants your appointed attorneys the authority to make decisions related to your medical care, living arrangements, and day-to-day care. Property and Financial Affairs LPA allows your attorneys to manage your financial affairs, such as paying bills, collecting benefits, and overseeing investments. It is crucial to make both types of LPA while you are still mentally capable, as they cannot be created once capacity is lost. Having LPA in place can ensure that your best interests are upheld and protect you from the risks associated with not having these essential legal safeguards.
In the sections that follow, we will delve deeper into the importance and functioning of LPA, as well as the process involved in their creation and registration. Furthermore, we will highlight the benefits of engaging professional assistance from companies like Sovereign Planning, who specialise in will writing, LPA, and trust services to ensure that your LPA is comprehensive and legally binding.
I. Understanding the Two Types of Lasting Powers of Attorney
Lasting Powers of Attorney are divided into two distinct types, each addressing different aspects of your personal needs. A comprehensive overview of each type is as follows:
1. Health and Welfare LPA: This LPA covers decisions about your medical treatment, care, and living arrangements when you lack the mental capacity to make them. Your appointed attorneys can make choices about life-sustaining treatment or daily care plans on your behalf, ensuring your wellbeing is prioritised according to your stated preferences and best interests.
2. Property and Financial Affairs LPA: This LPA authorises your attorneys to manage your financial affairs in case of incapacity. They can handle tasks like paying bills, managing property, collecting benefits, making investments, and filing tax returns. By establishing a Property and Financial Affairs LPA, you can assure that your financial matters are managed prudently and in your best interest.
II. The Process of Creating and Registering Lasting Powers of Attorney
The procedure to create and register LPA involves several steps. By understanding these stages, you will be better equipped to plan your LPA effectively:
1. Choosing your attorneys: Carefully select one or more trusted individuals to act as your attorneys. Be sure to designate alternate attorneys as well, in case your originally chosen attorneys are unable or unwilling to act when called upon.
2. Completing LPA forms: Download the appropriate LPA forms from the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) website. Fill out the forms per the instructions, ensuring all fields are completed accurately.
3. Obtaining signatures: Once the forms are completed, you will need to sign them in the presence of a witness, who should also sign the documents. Your attorneys will need to sign the forms, too, agreeing to act in your best interest.
4. Appointing a Certificate Provider: You will need to have a Certificate Provider, an independent individual who can confirm that you understand the nature and scope of the LPA and confirm that you are not being unduly influenced or coerced to create it.
5. Registering the LPA with the OPG: After completing the forms and obtaining the necessary signatures, submit your LPA to the OPG for registration. There is a registration fee for each LPA, but fee reductions or exemptions may be available based on your financial situation.
III. Why Creating Lasting Powers of Attorney Is Essential
The need for establishing a Lasting Power of Attorney is crucial for several reasons:
1. Maintaining control: LPA allows you to maintain control over your personal and financial affairs even if you lose capacity. By designating your chosen attorneys, you assure that important decisions are made by individuals who understand and respect your preferences.
2. Avoiding court intervention: In the absence of LPA, your loved ones may need to apply to the Court of Protection for a deputyship order to manage your affairs, which can be time-consuming, costly, and bureaucratically challenging.
3. Safeguarding your interests: LPA ensures that individuals with your best interests in mind manage your health, welfare, and financial affairs, reducing the risk of exploitation or mismanagement.
IV. The Benefits of Seeking Professional Assistance for LPA
While the process of creating LPA can appear straightforward, there are complexities that may arise, making professional guidance invaluable:
1. Tailored advice: Companies like Sovereign Planning offer tailored advice and guidance to help you establish LPA that reflects your specific needs and circumstances.
2. Legal expertise: Professional will writers and estate planners are well-versed in the legal complexities of LPA, ensuring the documents are comprehensive and legally binding.
3. Peace of mind: Engaging professional assistance gives you the peace of mind that your LPA is accurately prepared and registered, secured for future use when needed.
Lasting Powers of Attorney are essential tools for safeguarding your future and maintaining control over your personal and financial affairs in the event of incapacity. By understanding the importance and functions of LPA and the process involved in creating them, you can take an essential step towards securing your future and the future of your loved ones.
If you are considering creating LPA, seeking professional advice from companies like Sovereign Planning can provide expert guidance and assistance throughout the process, ensuring your LPA is accurately prepared and registered.
Secure the control and care of your future with Sovereign Planning’s professional will writing, LPA, and estate planning services. Contact us today to receive tailored advice and solutions to meet your unique needs.