Lasting Powers of Attorney

EXPERIENCED LASTING POWERS OF ATTORNEY SOLICITORS

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is an important legal document by which you appoint a person who will have your authority to make decisions on your behalf in circumstances that you have specified.

Making an LPA is being realistic about the fact that tomorrow is always going to be uncertain, and this can provide more peace of mind for you and your family.

An experienced solicitor from our team can give you further advice and help you make a valid Lasting Power of Attorney.

Obinna Baranta

Obinna Baranta

Partner

If you become incapable of looking after your own affairs you need to think about how you would like your affairs managed and who is involved in this process.

It should be someone you trust to make decisions on your behalf.

Appointing an individual will avoid the difficulty of dealing with the court of protection.

There are two types of Power of Attorney

First, there is a Health and Welfare Power of Attorney who deals with your health decisions when you are unable to which requires a public guardian fee of £82.

Second, there is a Property and Financial Affairs Power of Attorney to deal with financial affairs which also requires an £82 fee payment to the public guardian.

The public guardians are the public body that manage the process.

We will assist you on appointing a power of attorney and completing the relevant forms.

We will charge £350 plus the £82 (public guardian fee) for a Power of Attorney.

If you instruct us on the two types of Health & Welfare type as well as the Property & Financial Affair’s type of Power of Attorney, we will charge £650 plus the Office of the Public Guardian fees of £164 to deliver our quality legal service to you.

Please see more information about our Power of Attorney service.

All prices quoted above include VAT and there are no hidden charges in relation to the fees for our firm’s legal services to you.

Improved health care facilities have given us opportunities to live longer and LPA’s have become an important method of protecting ourselves – from any unfortunate events that may occur during our lifetimes. It is also a fact of life that anyone can unexpectedly experience serious illness or an accident.

Surely it is better to plan for how your affairs will be managed should an illness or accident occur, than to leave all important decisions about you to relatives, friends, lawyers and courts.

Lasting Powers of Attorney can also be useful for other practical purposes, for example, a person who is relocating to another country may need someone else to help with ongoing management of their assets such as properties, bank accounts and businesses whilst they are away from the country.

No matter your reason, it is best to be know that if you are unable to take decisions for yourself for any reason, someone you trust is in place to make decisions for you.

An LPA is made by completing a formal application form and submitting your form to the Office of the Public Guardian.

Your appointed attorney cannot act for you until registration of your LPA has been completed by the Public Guardian and notified to you or to your solicitor.

The official application fee that is paid to the Public Guardian is £82. This will be in addition to your solicitor’s fees if you decided to use a solicitor.

Most people prefer to instruct a solicitor so that they are sure that a valid LPA will be in place that cannot be easily challenged in future.

An experienced solicitor from our team can give you further advice and help you make a valid Lasting Power of Attorney.

  • Explain the process to you in full.
  • Give you advice that will help you to decide which kind of LPA you need.
  • Complete the application form and prepare supporting documents for you.
  • Supervise and witness your signing of your LPA.
  • Supervise and witness the signing of the LPA by your proposed Attorney(s).
  • Advice your Attorney on their legal duties so they are comfortable about accepting the role.

You can only make an LPA during the time that you have mental capacity to make the decisions.

If a person loses mental capacity the Court of Protection can appoint a Deputy.

A Deputy is more or less an attorney appointed by a Court without your consent or choice.

Fixed fee of £380.00 plus 20% VAT for one Lasting Power of Attorney*

Total to pay for solicitor’s service for one Lasting Power of Attorney is £456.00.  

Fixed fee of £700.00 plus 20% VAT for two Lasting Powers of Attorney*

Total to pay for solicitor’s service for two Lasting Power of Attorney is £840.00.

Please note that the Office of the Public Guardian collects a fee of £82 registration fee for each Power of Attorney.

Types of Lasting Power of Attorneys

There are two types of Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA). Any person may make one of these LPAs or both:

  • Property and Financial Affairs LPA
    This allows your Attorney to make decisions about your properties and money.
    This would permit your attorney to manage your property, operate your bank accounts and pay taxes or bills on your behalf.
    Please note that Property and Financial Affairs LPA can be useful to a person that has mental capacity.
    For example, a person with a mobility disability may appoint an attorney to attend appointments at the bank on his behalf.
  • Health and Welfare LPA
    This appoints and allows your Attorney to make decisions about your health e.g. medical treatment, and your welfare e.g. where you should live.
    Although Health and Welfare Attorneys can make decisions about medical treatment, you will have to elect whether or not your Attorney(s) will have authority to decide serious medical decisions such as life support in hospital.

Most LPA’s usually permit another person to act only when the person making the LPA, this is the Donor, becomes unable to make decisions.

However, it is possible for an LPA to be prepared and registered in a manner that permits the Attorney to make decisions for the Donor at a time when the Donor has mental capacity.

In these cases, the Attorney will usually be permitted to act by following the instructions of the Donor.

A person can become unable to make decisions for different reasons. Some of the reasons are predictable and others may be unexpected.

This is why more and more people are finding it necessary and wise to make and register an LPA.

Some events that can lead to a loss of mental capacity include:

  • Old age and associated illnesses such as Dementia or Alzheimer
  • Other illnesses or drug induced side effects that may affect the brains ability to function
  • Brain injuries resulting from an accident whether at home, at work or on the roads
  • Mental illness and severe learning disabilities

It is very important to understand the distinction between the legal effects of an LPA and the legal effects of a Last Will and Testament Document.

Whilst you are alive but unable to make decisions for any reason, the instructions you have given in your Last Will and Testament will have no legal effect.

This means that a costly application will need to be made to the Court of Protection for the appointment of a Deputy who will act as your attorney and make decisions for you.

It also means that several people, some of whom you might not really have preferred, may apply to the court to become your deputy.

Decisions about you may be delayed whilst family, friends and their lawyers argue at Court of Protection about who is the best person to be appointed as your deputy.

Many clients also prefer to make a Lasting Power of Attorney because it gives them the opportunity to put in some directions and clear instructions on how they want their Attorney to make decisions about them.

Usual directions and instructions can include a list of things they want their attorney to consider whenever he has to decide; the people to consult and placement of limitations on the extent to which your Attorney(s) can make decisions for you.

It is possible to appoint several Attorneys at once.

It is also possible to appoint replacement Attorneys just in case your appointed Attorney or one of your appointed Attorneys does not take up the role.

You may also choose that more than one attorney should act jointly or you may prefer that they can act independently.

Your Attorneys have to agree to be Attorneys and sign the application form in order for the Public Guardian to register them.

Your Attorneys cannot be bankrupt and must have mental capacity to act.

Attorneys must act within the scope of the authority given in the Lasting Power of Attorney document.

Attorneys must always comply with and act in accordance with the principles that are set out in the Mental Capacity Act 2005.

In particular, the attorney must have regard to the guidance in the Code of Practice to the Mental Capacity Act and must only act or make decisions that are in the best interests of the Donor of the Power.

Usually, your GP or your solicitor can certify that you have mental capacity to grant a Power of Attorney.

Such certification that you have mental capacity is a compulsory requirement for the Office of the Public Guardian to accept your application.

Once you have thoroughly considered all the above points, then you can fill out the forms, get your certificate of capacity, give notices, write a cheque to the Public Guardian and send your application.

Yes, you can.

You can do so by following guidance on the application forms or by also looking at information on the website of the Office of the Public Guardian.

Many people prefer to consult a solicitor to prepare and submit their LPA for registration. Others may also take advice from a solicitor, and then use the advice plus their own research to complete their LPA.

If you do decide to make your own LPA, you should pay attention to the following points:

  • An LPA is a formal legal document and must be completed carefully.
  • The LPA must be registered by payment of fees and you may need inform certain people about your LPA after it has been registered.
  • Consider carefully who will be your Attorney and replacement Attorneys?
  • Read up on the rules to see if that person appropriate in law and also think about if that person is appropriate from your own perspective, e.g. consider your relationship and how it might change in the future?
  • Approach the person and be sure that he/she agrees to be appointed?
  • Your Attorney must sign the registration form for the Public Guardian to agree to register your LPA.
  • Think about whether you wish to give general power to your attorney, or limit or restrict the attorney’s powers?
  • Consider which person has the experience and knowledge to provide a formal certificate of your mental capacity as this is a requirement.

If the person that you intend to appoint as your Attorney requires expert legal advice on the roles, rights and responsibilities of an Attorney, our fee for providing one hour of legal advice to prospective Attorneys is £100 for each Attorney.

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COMPLIANTS:

Our aim is to deliver quality services that you will be happy with.

If unfortunately, after efforts our effort to do our best we have not got this right, a complaint about our service can be raised, in the first with the lawyer that handled your matter and provided our service to you. All our staff are trained to appreciate that client satisfaction comes first and your lawyer will do his or her best to listen to you, provide an explanation and carry out any remedial actions that you require so that you may become satisfied with our service.

If after the above initial stage you are not satisfied with our response to your complaint you may complain to our Mr Obinna Baranta who is our firm’s complaint manager - by writing to our London address of 51 Fellows Road, London NW3 3DX.

Mr Baranta will do his best to resolve the matter to your satisfaction by reviewing the service we provided to you in a manner that satisfies you.

Mr Baranta will first write to you within 7 working days of hearing from you to acknowledge receipt of your complaint and he will aim to send you a substantive reply to your complaint within 14 working days.

Mr Baranta will investigate your complaint by speaking to the person involved and may telephone you to get more details about our service to you.

If you do not feel comfortable about complaining to Mr Baranta about our service to you because he handled your matter, you may write to Mr Kenny Ogba who has been in practice for over 7 years and who will assist the firm by investigating your complaint with intention of finding a resolution that satisfies you.

If after looking into your complaint and responding to you, you are still not satisfied by our responses you may further complain to the Legal Ombudsman whose address for complaints is PO Box 6806 Wolverhampton WV19WJ.