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Why It’s Still Important To Have A LPA

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A Record Number Of Over 750,000 People Are Now Setting Up A LPA

Why It's Still Important To Have A LPAIn the last five years the number of people consigning their healthcare, money and legal affairs over to family and friends has risen by more than 180%. This is up by more than a quarter in the last year alone when 726,000 people decided to get a Lasting Power Of Attorney (LPA).

Despite this rapid rise Denzil Lush, who until recently was the most senior judge in the UK court of Protection, last year stated that he would never sign a Lasting Power Of Attorney himself.

An LPA allows you to appoint another person (attorney) to take care of any finances, healthcare and legal affairs when you can’t physically or mentally take care of them for yourself.

Denzil Lush warns people that an LPA could have “devastating” effects on a family. Nevertheless, the risks are overstated. Although these comments may be well intentioned, they may possibly scare people away from using a document that has, and still does, help a lot of people.

Failing To Register An Lasting Power Of Attorney

Failure to register an Lasting Power Of Attorney could mean that someone unsuitable would land the role of managing your personal affairs, therefore heightening the risk of financial abuse.

Even if your wife/husband or members of your family knew exactly what you would want, legally they wouldn’t be able to make any health and welfare decisions on your behalf, if a LPA wasn’t set in place, stating that they have the rights to make those decisions for you. As well this, in the circumstances of you needing money for paying your mortgage or other bills, unless it’s stated in an LPA, your family members would not be able to access your bank account to transfer money.

In order for them to gain this legal authority, they would need to apply to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship Order, which would be a much longer and more complicated procedure to take care of.

Research by the Co-op legal service discovered that 27% of participants didn’t know what an LPA was and 57% didn’t know that there were 2 types of Lasting Power Of Attorney.

The Two Types Of Lasting Power Of Attorney

The first type of Lasting Power Of Attorney is the Health and Welfare LPA which can only be enforced once the person is unable to mentally or physically make the decision for themselves. The correct time to enforce a Health and Welfare LPA is when you’re wanting an attorney to take care of decisions relating to:

  • Medical care
  • Movement into a care home
  • Life-sustaining  treatment

The second type of Lasting Power Of Attorney is the Property and Financial Affairs LPA. This document can be enforced as soon as it is registered with the persons permission. This type of LPA would be used when the decisions relate to:

  • Managing a bank account
  • Paying bills
  • Collecting befits or a pension
  • Selling a property

How To Register An Lasting Power Of Attorney

To enforce an Lasting Power Of Attorney is must first be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. You will also need to be over the age of 18 with the mental capacity to make your own decisions at the time of registering.

To register an LPA, you must pay £82. You do have the option to register both the Health and Welfare LPA and the Property and Financial Affairs LPA but they will both need to be registered separately, costing £164.

If no mistakes are found in the application, it should take up to 10 weeks to register.

For more information on the different types of Lasting Power Of Attorney, what mental capacity is, or fee exemptions please do not hesitate to contact us on 0113 244 4081 or email advice@craiglaw.co.uk.

 

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