Granting Lasting Power of Attorney can be surprisingly easy. There are different types of Power of Attorney but the Lasting Power of Attorney is the most commonly used.  Here are the six steps to setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney.

Referred to as an LPA, it is a legal document which allows you, known as the Donor, to appoint one or more people to help you manage your financial and property affairs or make decisions about your health and welfare. They can help you when you have capacity or make decisions when you are no longer capable, when you have lost your mental capacity.

This document gives you more control over what happens if you have an accident or an illness that means someone else will need to make decisions for you. This could be either temporary or permanent.

Of key importance is that you must make sure you have appointed an attorney before you lose the capacity to do so. Otherwise, people will be making decisions on your behalf who you haven’t chosen.  There is a common misunderstanding that someone who is, for example, a Next of Kin or spouse can mange your affairs.  This is incorrect.  They will not be able to unless they have your power of attorney.

Two types of Lasting Power of Attorney

There are two types of LPA and you will need to decide whether you need one or both. It is probably wise to have both and you don’t have to use the same attorney for each one, though you can. The two LPAs are:

Choosing your Power of Attorney

It is extremely important to take the time to choose the right attorney – see General Guide for the donor.

Six Steps to setting up an LPA

In short, there are six key steps if you’re creating an LPA in England or Wales:

Registering an LPA costs

  1. Download the paperwork (or see Downloads below) or complete the form online and do it while you still have capacity. This is important – don’t wait.
  2. Fill it in. You can do it yourself or you can get help from someone you know well, or a solicitor, or Citizens Advice.
  3. Get it signed by a certificate provider (eg a solicitor or doctor, or someone you have known well for at least two years, although not a family member) who can vouch that you know what you’re doing and that nobody is coercing you.
  4. If there are ‘People to notify’ or ‘People to be told’ listed in your LPA application, you’ll have to send them an LP3 form (see Downloads below), which gives them three weeks to raise objections. If you’re applying online, the service will create and fill in the LP3 for you.
  5. Register it with the Office of the Public Guardian while you still have capacity (if you’ve lost capacity but signed the document before, your Attorney can register it; and if you don’t register it, it’s not valid).
  6. Activate it so you can use the government digital Use a Lasting Power of Attorney service.

The OPG currently has a delayed service of about 20 weeks to register an LPA so make sure you send the form in in good time.  Make sure you check out the Top 10 Mistakes made in Power of Attorney applications, before you send the document.

If you are not sure whether you want to fill the forms out yourself or get help from a professional, read this:  Do you need a solicitor to register a power of attorney?

The Fee

You will need to pay the following (in England & Wales):

  • £82 for a Lasting Power of Attorney
  • £41 for a repeat

If you, the Donor’s, gross annual income is less than £12,000, you may be eligible for a 50 per cent reduction in the fee.

If you, the Donor, receives any means-tested benefits when an application to register is made, you can apply for an exemption.

For more information on fees click here for the LPA120


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