Why do I need a Lasting Power of Attorney?

Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs) are legal documents which allow you to appoint someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so due to illness, accident, mental incapacity or when it comes to decisions about your property and finances; for convenience.

Most of us think that if something were to happen in the future, someone would be able to step in and manage our affairs with little difficulty, especially if we are married or in a civil partnership. This is not true and the alternative can mean an expensive and lengthy application to the Court of Protection to appoint a Deputy, and you lose control over who is appointed to act on your behalf. LPAs are less expensive and make things easier for your loved ones to deal with.

An LPA, like a Will, is essential for anyone at any age. Every 90 seconds, someone in the United Kingdom is admitted to hospital due to brain injury; and more than 800,000 people have dementia. While none of us like to think about the worst happening to us it is vital to put these documents in place to protect ourselves as well as our loved ones.

There are two different types of LPA – one deals with your health and welfare, and can only be used if you lose mental capacity; and one deals with your property and finances and can be used either immediately (with your permission) and if you lose mental capacity; or can be restricted to only be used if you lose mental capacity.

An LPA for financial decisions deals with matters such as:-

  1. Investing money
  2. Paying bills
  3. Closing accounts
  4. Buying and selling property

An LPA for health and care deals with matters such as:-

  1. Where you should live
  2. Your medical care
  3. Life sustaining treatment
  4. What social activities you should partake in
  5. What you should eat

An LPA can only be drawn up while you have the mental capacity to give instructions and it is therefore crucial that you do not “wait and see” what might happen as by then, it could be too late.

What does it cost?

At Sentry Legals, we prepare LPAs on a fixed fee basis. We offer additional discounts if instructed to prepare Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney at the same time:-

1 x LPA (one type, for one person) – £300

2 x LPA (one type for two people, or both types for one person) – £550

4 x LPA (both types for two people) – £950

There is an additional fee of £82 per document to register LPAs at the Office of the Public Guardian. If you are in receipt of certain benefits or have a low income then you may be exempt from paying the registration fee and should ask your legal advisor about this.

The blog postings on this site solely reflect the personal views of the authors and do not necessarily represent the views, positions, strategies or opinions of Sentry Legals Limited. All comments are made in good faith, and neither Sentry Legals Limited nor the author will accept liability for them. No advice is given in any posting. Please contact your adviser for more information or advice.

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