Lasting Powers of Attorney Solicitors
If you are thinking about the future and whether you may one day need extra support from someone you trust, a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) may be just what you need.
Have you ever thought about who would help you if you got ill or had an accident? We know that is unpleasant to think about, but no one knows what the future holds and unfortunately, a long-term injury or an illness such as dementia may be a possibility.
A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document that can authorise people you trust to make decisions on your behalf when you need them to.
Our friendly solicitors can provide all the advice you need about putting in place a Lasting Power of Attorney. We offer a free initial consultation to talk about your needs and how we can help. We will then draft you a bespoke document that fully reflects your wishes and appoints the attorneys you want to support you if or when the time comes.
We regularly speak to people looking to put an LPA in place for themselves or who are helping an older or vulnerable relative or friend sort out an LPA.
Get in touch with our Lasting Power of Attorney solicitors
Contact our Lasting Power of Attorney solicitors in London to set up your free initial consultation. We can:
- Help you decide whether a Lasting Power of Attorney is right for you.
- Draft your Lasting Power of Attorney on your behalf.
- Provide advice about explaining what the LPA means to your attorneys.
- Register Lasting Powers of Attorney.
- Help attorneys with their responsibilities under a Lasting Power of Attorney, including assisting with mental capacity assessments and making decisions for people.
- Help resolving Lasting Power of Attorney disputes.
Navigating this page
- What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
- What is mental capacity?
- Why make a Lasting Power of Attorney?
- When can a Lasting Power of Attorney be used?
- How our Lasting Power of Attorney solicitors can help
What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that can authorise one or more people of your choice (attorneys) to help you make decisions and make decisions on your behalf during your lifetime. There are two types of LPA:
- Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney – appoints attorneys to manage your financial affairs, such as paying bills, selling property and collecting your pension on your behalf.
- Health & Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney – appoints attorneys to make decisions about things like your day-to-day care, medical treatment and where you live.
A Property and Financial Affairs LPA can be used at any time. A Health & Welfare LPA can only be used if you have lost your mental capacity.
What is mental capacity?
Mental capacity is the ability to make your own decisions. Someone may lack mental capacity where:
- They do not understand information needed to make a particular decision.
- They cannot retain that information long enough to make a decision.
- They cannot weigh up the information to make a decision.
- They cannot communicate their decision (through words, sign language or otherwise).
We all make decisions every day, from what to eat for breakfast to whether to make an offer on a new house.
If a person loses their mental capacity, for example, due to an illness such as Alzheimer’s disease or a brain injury, then they may need help making some decisions or even need someone to make decisions for them.
This is where the person’s Lasting Power of Attorney comes in.
Why make a Lasting Power of Attorney?
A Lasting Power of Attorney can support you in many ways, from enabling people to make decisions about your care and medical treatment to allowing them to manage your finances.
Many people do not realise that without a Lasting Power of Attorney their family and close friends may find it difficult to step in and make decisions on their behalf. For example, a bank will not usually let anyone other than the account holder access a bank account without legal authorisation, such as a Lasting Power of Attorney.
Without an LPA in place, your loved ones would have to make a Deputyship application to the Court of Protection for permission to make decisions on your behalf – a process that can be long, expensive and very stressful.
An LPA can also save your loved ones from having to make impossible decisions on your behalf, especially if you lose your mental capacity very quickly, for example, as this news story from 2019 shows.
When can a Lasting Power of Attorney be used?
LPAs are commonly put in place in case you lose your mental capacity in the future, for example because of:
- An illness such as dementia.
- A condition such as a stroke.
- A brain injury after an accident.
- A severe mental health condition.
An LPA can also come in useful if you have mental capacity but want someone else to manage your financial affairs, for example if:
- You are going into hospital for a while.
- You are about to start a custodial prison sentence.
- You live abroad most or all of the time.
- You are going on holiday for a long time.
- You have a long-term disability or chronic illness.
If you are unsure whether an LPA is right for you, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us for a free initial consultation.
How our Lasting Powers of Attorney solicitors can help
Advice about Lasting Powers of Attorney
We can provide all the advice you need to make an informed decision about things like:
- Whether making an LPA is right for you.
- What you want your LPA to cover.
- Who you want to appoint as your attorneys.
- How many attorneys you should appoint.
- How you want the attorneys to act (for example, jointly or jointly and severally).
Using a personalised and highly strategic approach, we can help you consider points that may not have otherwise occurred to you. So, you can trust that your final LPA document will comprehensively cover everything you need it to.
We also maintain strong links with experts such as qualified healthcare professionals who can act as ‘certificate providers’ during the creation and registration of LPAs. The role of the certificate provider is to make sure that:
- You understand the purpose and scope of the LPA.
- You are not under any pressure or undue influence to make the LPA.
- There is nothing that might prevent the LPA from being valid.
Drafting your Lasting Power of Attorney
We can draft you a bespoke LPA that:
- Clearly reflects your personal circumstances.
- Can be used exactly according to your wishes.
- Cannot be used for decisions you do not want your attorneys to have power over.
- Eradicates any potential for confusion over your wishes and reduces the risk of disputes among your family members.
- Fully complies with the law.
We can also provide practical advice about updating Lasting Powers of Attorney or creating a Lasting Power of Attorney to replace an Enduring Power of Attorney.
Registering Lasting Powers of Attorney
An LPA must be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before it can be used. We can provide advice about registering an LPA and handle the entire registration process on your behalf.
Talking to your attorneys
We can provide advice about how to talk to your attorneys about the LPA and what their role is.
We can also advise attorneys directly on what they can and cannot do under an LPA. Our advice can cover everything from how to keep records and financial accounts to assessing mental capacity and how to help the donor (the person who made the LPA) make decisions.
Lasting Power of Attorney advice for business owners
If you are a sole trader or own a small business, it may be worth making a separate Property and Financial Affairs LPA to cover your business interests should you become unable to participate in the business yourself in the future.
- Does your business account have your name on it?
- Do you own joint assets that would require your sign-off to sell?
- Who would carry on paying your business debts?
We can talk you through your options and help you put in place the provisions necessary to safeguard your business.
Resolving Lasting Power of Attorney disputes and problems
We can help attorneys resolve a wide range of LPA-related disputes and problems, from advising joint attorneys on making joint decisions to providing advice on the scope of an LPA and whether an additional Court of Protection application may be necessary.
Have a different question about Powers of Attorney?
A Lasting Power of Attorney may not be the only option available to you. Visit our Powers of Attorney page for more information.
Get in touch with our Lasting Power of Attorney solicitors
Contact our Lasting Power of Attorney solicitors in London to set up your free initial consultation.