Since the corona emergency began, it has prompted many people to think about their personal affairs and we have seen an increase in the number of people wanting to make Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney.
In this blog we explain the two types of LPA – ‘Property and Financial Affairs’ and ‘Health and Welfare’.
What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a document in which you (‘the Donor’) appoint one or more people of your choice to act on your behalf as your ‘Attorneys’. You will continue to make your own decisions while you are able but if you lose capacity then your Attorneys can act on your behalf. Before an LPA can be used it must first be registered at the Office of the Public Guardian and as this process can take approximately 3 months we strongly recommend that LPAs are registered as soon as the documents have been created so that they can be used urgently if required.
What are the 2 different types of LPA?
There are 2 types of LPA:-
- LPA – Property and Financial Affairs: your chosen Attorneys will deal specifically with your property and financial affairs.
- LPA – Health and Welfare: your chosen Attorneys will deal specifically with making decisions relating to your health and personal welfare. This would include decisions relating to your healthcare or medical treatment; decisions relating to where you live; or decisions relating to day to day considerations such as your diet, dress or daily routine.
What if I do not have an LPA in place and I lose mental capacity?
If you do not have an LPA (Property and Financial Affairs) in place and you lose mental capacity, then your financial affairs cannot be dealt with until a court order called a Deputyship Order has been obtained from the Court of Protection. It can take between 6-9 months for the Court of Protection to issue these Orders and the application process can be expensive and time consuming.
If you do not have an LPA (Health and Welfare) in place and you lose mental capacity, then decisions regarding health and personal welfare will be made by doctors and social workers on your behalf. They will make a decision based upon what they believe to be in your best interests however they may not know your wishes and their decision may not therefore take your wishes into account.
Can I make an LPA with a solicitor during lockdown?
Despite the social distancing restrictions put in place by the government, our Wills, Trust & Probate team are still able to speak to you via telephone calls or using video conferencing. Our team will then be able to prepare the LPA and send it to you by post for signing.
Can I get my LPA witnessed during lockdown?
LPAs must be signed by the Donor in front of a witness. The document will then need to be signed by a Certificate Provider who confirms that they are satisfied the Donor fully understands the document they have signed. The document then needs to be signed by the Attorneys in front of a witness.
The Certificate Provider does not need to be a solicitor. In order to comply with the social distancing requirements, you could arrange to meet with a neighbour or friend in your garden or driveway to have your document witnessed. We recommend that each person uses their own pen and wears gloves. All concerned should ensure compliance with social distancing by remaining 2 metres apart. Once all parties have signed the signed document should be returned to us to complete the process.
I want to make a Lasting Power of Attorney. What do I do now?