Why are there two LPAs?
There are two types of LPA.
The Financial & Property Affairs LPA deals with, as it says, all of your financial matters (banks/building societies/savings/credit cards/utilities etc.) and property matters including your home, any buy-to-let properties or any other property that you own or have an interest in.
The Health & Welfare LPA deals with, as you would expect, any decisions in relation to your health and medical affairs as well as your day-to-day living and welfare, such as liaising with medical professionals, care/nursing homes, social services and Local Authorities.
When can I make an LPA?
As long as you have capacity and understand the decisions that you are taking by registering a Lasting Power of Attorney then you are able to make an LPA.
Can an LPA be registered after being diagnosed with dementia?
This will depend on how soon the diagnosis takes place and whether the individual that has been diagnosed has lucid or ‘good’ days and is still of sound mind.
If the individual still has lucid days where they are clear on their finances, current affairs and appear to be unaffected by the dementia then it may well be that a Lasting Power of Attorney can be prepared at this time and instructions taken from the individual.
When should I make an LPA?
There is never a “right time” or “the perfect time” to create your Lasting Power of Attorney.
Our advice…the sooner, the better! Once your LPA is created, you have piece of mind. You have to have capacity in order to register your LPA and as none of us know what is going to happen tomorrow, if we wait for the “right time”, it may never come.
You may want to check out our article – When should I make a LPA? – for examples of circumstances and events in which we recommend that your Will is reviewed and/or updated.
Who should I choose to be my Attorney?
Your Attorney should be someone that you trust implicitly and who is over the age of 18.
There is no right answer when it comes to who is best. The best Attorney for you will be different to anyone else and so is very much an individual decision.
We can give you guidance and discuss this with you, but ultimately…you know best who you can trust to act in your best interest and to make decisions for you when you are unable to.
You can appoint professional Attorneys, such as solicitors, as an alternative to friends and family and we can discuss this option with you if you would like.
Can I have more than one Attorney?
You can also decide whether your Attorneys should act jointly and all agree before any decision is made or whether they can act separately if necessary.
You can also appoint replacement Attorneys for circumstances where your original Attorney is unable or unwilling to act.
Do I have to have the same Attorney/s for my Property & Finances as I do for my Health & Welfare?
The Health & Welfare LPA is completely separate from the Property & Financial Affairs LPA and so are used individually. You can therefore appoint different Attorneys under each LPA if you wish to.
How long will the process of registering an LPA take?
From the initial call to the registered Lasting Powers of Attorney being delivered to you, the whole process (including home consultations to go through the Lasting Powers of Attorneys and any discussions with your proposed Attorneys) can be completed within three months. The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) take around 8-10 weeks to process the application and so a three-month time period allows for the OPG to check and register the Lasting Power of Attorney and for us to receive this and deliver it back to you ready for use.
When we deliver your Lasting Power of Attorney we will also give you information as to how the Lasting Power of Attorney can, and should, be used as well as answer any questions that you have.
Do I need a professional to register my LPA or can I do it myself?
It is up to you!
When asking a professional to prepare your Lasting Power of Attorney, they can go through the options as to who is best placed to be your Attorney, how many Attorneys should be appointed and how they should be permitted to make decisions. A professional can also help clarify any guidance or restrictions that you would like set out in relation to decisions that may be taken.
Although asking a professional to assist with preparing and registering your LPA may cost more initially, the end result will be exactly what you want, well considered and the LPA is likely to be registered and ready for use (should it be required!) a lot more quickly and without rejection by the OPG.
What happens if I don’t have an LPA?
If you haven’t registered an LPA prior to losing capacity, then your loved ones may well need to make an Application to the Court of Protection in order to appoint a Deputy to make decisions for you.
However, the decision will be made by the Court and so may well not be the choice that you would have made when appointing someone to make decisions for you. This process is also lengthy and costly causing unnecessary stress and delay for those closest to you.
Have more questions?
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