A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that allows individuals to appoint trusted persons, known as attorneys, to make decisions on their behalf in the event they lose mental capacity. Whether due to an unforeseen accident, illness, or age-related conditions such as dementia, losing one’s ability to make informed decisions may have a profound impact on various aspects of life, including healthcare, finance, and everyday matters. By putting an LPA in place, individuals can ease the decision-making burden on their loved ones, ensuring their preferred choices, interests, and well-being are honoured.
In this comprehensive guide, we will explore the importance of Lasting Powers of Attorney, outline the two primary types of LPA, shed light on the registration process, and highlight the valuable role played by professional will writing and LPA services in securing your future interests. As they navigate the complexities of setting up and registering their LPA, users could greatly benefit from the expertise of experienced advisors like the team at Sovereign Planning.
I. 2 Main Types of Lasting Powers of Attorney
Gain insights into the two primary types of LPAs and the key distinctions between them:
1. Property and Financial Affairs LPA: This type of LPA allows your appointed attorney to manage your financial affairs, including paying bills, organising investments, and buying or selling property. You can choose for this LPA to become effective as soon as it is registered, even if you still have mental capacity, or only once you lack capacity.
2. Health and Welfare LPA: This LPA grants your attorney the authority to make decisions regarding your healthcare, daily routine (e.g., diet or dress), and medical treatments. This LPA can only be used if you lose mental capacity.
II. Scenarios That Necessitate a Lasting Power of Attorney
Understand why establishing an LPA is crucial in several circumstances:
1. Age-related illnesses: Cognitive decline due to conditions such as Alzheimer’s or dementia may compromise your ability to make decisions. An LPA ensures your preferences and interests remain protected in such cases.
2. Unexpected accidents: In the event of an accident resulting in brain injury or the inability to communicate, an LPA would allow your appointed attorney to oversee your affairs and uphold your best interests.
3. Progressive illnesses: If you are diagnosed with a condition that may gradually affect your mental capacity, such as Parkinson’s or Multiple Sclerosis, an LPA safeguards your future welfare and enables your attorney to make informed decisions on your behalf.
III. The Roles and Responsibilities of Appointed Attorneys
Explore the key duties an attorney should fulfil when acting under an LPA:
1. Acting in your best interests: Regardless of the LPA type, the appointed attorney should always act in your best interests and make decisions that align with your preferences, values, and well-being.
2. Keeping accounts: For property and financial affairs LPAs, the attorney is obliged to keep separate accounts, ensuring transparency and appropriate management of your financial assets.
3. Confidentiality: Attorneys must maintain your confidentiality and not disclose sensitive information, except when necessary to fulfil their duties or if they believe you or someone else is at risk.
IV. Registering Your Lasting Power of Attorney & the Role of Professional Advisors
Uncover the registration process for LPAs and the invaluable support offered by professional advisors:
1. Completing the LPA form: The first step in registering an LPA involves completing the appropriate form, which can be done online or offline. This process ensures that the LPA adheres to the necessary legal requirements and clearly outlines the attorney’s powers.
2. Obtaining signatures: After completing the LPA form, all parties involved must sign the document, including the donor (you), the attorney(s), any named replacement attorney(s), a certificate provider, and witnesses.
3. Submitting the form to the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG): The signed LPA form must be submitted to the OPG alongside the registration fee. The OPG will review the LPA and, if approved, will add it to the register of LPAs. This process typically takes around 8 to 10 weeks.
4. The importance of professional advisors: Enlisting the support of professional will writing and LPA services, such as Sovereign Planning, can simplify the LPA creation and registration process by offering expert guidance on LPA types, attorney selection, and form completion. Moreover, experienced advisors can identify potential issues, ensure legal compliance, and provide ongoing support throughout the registration process.
Lasting Powers of Attorney play a critical role in safeguarding your future interests, ensuring your personal preferences are respected, and enabling your loved ones to make decisions on your behalf if you become unable to do so. By understanding the types of LPA, recognising essential attorney roles, and familiarising yourself with the registration process, you can take informed steps towards establishing your LPA. With the assistance of professional will writing and LPA services like Sovereign Planning, navigating the complexities of LPA creation and registration becomes increasingly manageable, providing you greater confidence in your ability to protect your future welfare and decision-making needs.
Enlist Sovereign Planning’s expert services to help you create a Lasting Power of Attorney tailored to your unique needs and preferences. Contact us today to schedule an appointment and start safeguarding your future decision-making capabilities.