For some people, there comes a time in their lives where they are no longer able to make decisions for themselves, whether this may be related to their finances, their property or their healthcare and medical treatment. In this situation, they may have someone who is legally able to make these decisions on their behalf, this person will be called their attorney.
It goes without saying that putting in place a power of attorney can be incredibly beneficial and it can provide you with complete peace of mind that someone you trust is in charge of your affairs, but many people don’t actually know much about this. So, to help anyone who is trying to find out more in this regard, our team here at Location Lawyer have answered some of the most commonly asked questions regarding Lasting Powers Of Attorney (LPA).
Who can appoint an attorney?
Ultimately, if you’re aged 18 or over and you currently have the mental capacity/are in the right state of mind, you can appoint someone to be your attorney. When doing so, you will be known as a ‘donor’.
Who can be an attorney?
You can choose anyone you trust, whether this is your spouse, a friend or a different family member, to be your attorney, but they must be over 18 years old. It is also worthwhile noting that you can appoint a professional, such as a solicitor too.
Can you have more than one attorney?
Many are unaware that you can actually have more than one attorney. When doing so, they are able to act;
- Jointly – which means they must always make decisions together
- Jointly and severally – which means they have to make some decisions together and some individually
If you would like to appoint more than one attorney, it may be beneficial to speak to an experienced solicitor who will be able to assist you when doing so. They can help to ensure that everything is done correctly in accordance with your wishes.
Is a Lasting Power of Attorney the same as an Enduring Power of Attorney?
Both an LPA and an EPA are ways to appoint an attorney, however, since they came into force in October 2007, LPAs have essentially replaced EPAs. It is worthwhile pointing out that if an EPA was made before 1 October 2007, it can still be registered and, if it is already registered, it will still be valid.
Are there different types of attorneys?
There are two types of LPAs;
- Health and Welfare LPA – this covers everything from a donor’s daily routine through to their medical care and life-sustaining treatment
- Property and Financial Affairs LPA – this covers absolutely everything in relation to a donor’s money and property
You have the option to have one of these LPAs or both, it is entirely up to you.
When can an attorney begin making decisions?
Ultimately, this depends on which type of LPA you have. Health and Welfare LPAs can only be used when the donor does not have the capacity to make a decision themselves, whereas Property and Financial Affairs LPAs can be used straight away. Donors can decide whether they’d like their attorney to make decisions regarding their money and property whilst they’re still in the right capacity or if they only want them to make decisions when they lose capacity.
How do you appoint someone as your attorney?
It is fairly straightforward to appoint an attorney and you will essentially just need to fill in an LPA form. Once you have completed all of the necessary forms you must register your LPA with the Office of Public Guardian. If you’re unsure of this process, a solicitor will be able to assist you.
How long does a Power of Attorney last?
When your LPA has been registered, it will then last until you pass away. At this point, your attorney will no longer be able to make decisions on your behalf and your estate will be administered in accordance with your Will, or the rules of intestacy. An LPA can, however, be cancelled at any time while the donor still has mental capacity.
Finding a Lasting Power of Attorney solicitor
Hopefully, you will now know a little bit more about LPAs and should you want to appoint someone yourself or if you have a friend or family member who needs to do so, you will know how to proceed. However, if you require any assistance in this regard or if you have any additional questions, don’t hesitate to enlist the help of a professional lasting power of attorney solicitor. You can trust that they will be able to guide you through the whole process.
When searching for a local law firm, be sure to visit the Location Lawyer website today. We can connect you to a community of specialist lawyers nearby who are ready and able to help you with your Lasting Power of Attorney. Whether you’re looking for a solicitor in Reading, a solicitor in London or a solicitor anywhere else in England, we will help you find someone who you can rely on to provide only the best legal services.