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Lasting Power of Attorney

If you or you believe a loved one is unable to look after their own affairs, and do not have a Lasting Power of Attorney, the Court of Protection will appoint a Deputy to manage their affairs. In addition, there will probably be significant legal fees and the Deputy may not be aware of the circumstances particular to their case. To avoid this from happening you should consider having a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)

An LPA is a legal document whereby one person (the Donor) gives another person (the Attorney) power to act on his or her behalf, and in their name, in respect of their financial affairs and/or health and welfare decisions.
A General Power of Attorney becomes invalid if the Donor loses the mental capacity to manage their own affairs – just when the Power is most needed!   In contrast with a Lasting Power of Attorney, the Donor appoints an Attorney who, if the Donor subsequently becomes mentally incapable of managing their own affairs, can continue to act as Attorney.  

The Power cannot be used until it is registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG), whether the Donor is mentally competent or not.  Once registered, the Attorney can act on behalf of the Donor without interference from the Court.

Why should you have an LPA?
• For peace of mind – you will know who will deal with your affairs if you are unable to do it yourself (temporarily or permanently)
• To save money - a relatively small outlay. It can save time, trouble and expense, and avoid the cost of a Court of Protection Deputyship in the event of mental incapacity
• To simplify the administration of your affairs for your family and friends in the event of your mental incapacity.  
• To be prepared.   No one can foresee the future; mental or physical incapacity or hospitalisation can occur unexpectedly.   Bills still have to be paid, a business may need to be run, and decisions may need making as to personal affairs or future care.