You may be concerned about what would happen if your health failed or you had a serious accident, or that you are getting older and one day will not want or be able to manage your own affairs. A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) lets you plan ahead for these eventualities by letting you say now who you want to make decisions for you in the future.
How to make a Lasting Power of Attorney
There are three steps to making a Lasting Power of Attorney:
- Choose your attorneys
- Fill in the relevant forms
- Register your LPA and pay the registration fee.
You must have mental capacity at the time you set up the LPA and, to make sure no-one has forced you into signing an LPA, when you complete the forms you will appoint a person to be a certificate provider. This is someone who confirms you know what you're signing and understand the powers it will give your attorneys.
As another safeguard, you can name people who should be informed when an application is made to register your LPA. These should be people who have your best interests at heart and who would speak up to object to the registration if they have any concerns.
You can either pay a solicitor to fill in the forms for you, complete the forms online yourself, download the forms and complete them by hand or ask for the forms to be sent to you by post by phoning 0300 456 0300.
How to register an LPA
An LPA can only be used once it's been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.
You have to pay a fee to register each LPA application unless you receive certain state benefits or are on a low income. If you think you may be entitled to a fee reduction or waiver you'll need to complete form LPA120A.
How to cancel an existing LPA
You can cancel an LPA at any time providing you have the mental capacity to do so. You may want to do this because your circumstances change or you no longer want or need a particular person to make decisions for you.
To cancel an LPA, complete a Deed of Revocation and send it to the Office of the Public Guardian with the original LPA. Gov.uk has some sample wording for a Deed of Revocation you can use.
An LPA will automatically be cancelled in some situations, for example if your attorney loses mental capacity.
What happens without an LPA?
If you don’t have an LPA in place and you lose the ability to make your own decisions your family can apply to the Court of Protection to be granted powers to make decisions on your behalf. But it’s a more costly, complicated and onerous process than setting up and using an LPA. Find out more on gov.uk and in our Good with your Money guide.
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