Lasting Powers Of Attorney
Posted:4th April 2017
As anyone who has heard me talk about later life planning will know, a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is one of the most useful things that you can do for your own piece of mind. An LPA allows you (the donor) to appoint someone (the attorney) to look after your financial affairs and make decisions regarding your health and welfare in the event that you are unable to do so. This can be very useful if, for example, you are seriously injured or incapacitated and cannot sign cheques or other documents.However, its important to remember that you can only create a LPA whilst you have fully capacity and are able to do so. When you become incapacitated its too late.
Of course, I always suggest you have a chat with me when considering drawing up an LPA but the government website Make, register or end a lasting power of attorney enables anyone to create one themselves. Unfortunately, using this online tool without professional assistance can cause problems. It is essential that the document is completed accurately and believe me, the form is more complicated than it looks! When the LPA is registered, the application will be considered carefully to check who drafted the Power of Attorney, whether they take advice before creating it, whether the donor had the capacity to draw up the document, whether the document was witnessed correctly, whether the individual names listed in the document match their signature (including middle names), whether there are any errors in the document and so on.
I’ve come across so many applications made by individuals which have been rejected because the document hasn’t been completed correctly or hasn’t been witnessed properly. I’ve also seen Powers of Attorney which have been revoked at a later date because either the donor did not have the capacity to make it at the time or the attorneys had little understanding of their role.
So my advice would always be to instruct a professional to prepare and register your LPA. From next month, the government fee payable to register a Lasting Power of Attorney is reducing from £110 to £82 so now is a great time to start thinking about including a Lasting Power of Attorney as part of your later life planning!