Fosters Solicitors Wills, Trusts and Probate team will be offering a 20% reduction on our usual fees for making Lasting Powers of Attorney ("LPAs"), for appointments made on or by 28th February 2020.
Our aim is to encourage you to think about getting your affairs in order by putting in place LPAs as part of your new year's resolutions for 2020.
In order to assist, we have prepared answers to the most asked questions about LPAs.
What is an LPA?
An LPA is a legal document that enables you to choose who should make decisions about your financial affairs and/or health if you ever become unable to make those decisions for yourself. These chosen people are known as your Attorneys.
What Types of LPA are Available?
There are two different types of LPA available and each is embodied in a separate document. The most common is a Financial & Property LPA and the other is a Health & Welfare LPA.
We advise having both types of LPA to ensure your Attorneys are not restricted as to the type of decisions they can make on your behalf.
Who Can Be an Attorney?
Generally, an Attorney can be anyone who is over the age of 18, who is not bankrupt and has mental capacity.
In practice, we would suggest appointing someone who you trust and who knows you well, such as a relative or a friend. Alternatively, you may prefer to appoint a professional Attorney who has expertise in acting in this role, such as a solicitor.
Why Do I Need an LPA?
We believe everyone, whether they are in good health or not, should have an LPA in place as it is impossible to predict the future.
Making an LPA today ensures that you choose the people who can make decisions about your affairs in the future, instead of leaving this decision in the hand of others. It also avoids potential delays, costs and stress that can arise if you do not have an LPA in place.
What Does the Process Involve?
Our experienced solicitors will meet with you to take your instructions and ensure you have all the information you need in order to go ahead. We will then draft the LPA and arrange for you to sign it. It will then need to be signed by a third party; known as a Certificate Provider, who will also sign it and then your chosen Attorneys will sign it. Finally it will be sent to the Office of the Public Guardian to be registered.
How Long Does It Take?
It is difficult to predict how long it will take for all parties to sign the LPA, as it depends on their availability. However, once it has been sent to the Office of the Public Guardian it can take between 8-12 weeks for the LPA to be registered.
Does an LPA have to be registered?
No. It can simply be prepared and signed by all parties. However we strongly advise that you arrange to register at the same time as the LPA is not valid until it has been registered.
If you decide to register the LPA at a later date, or leave it to your Attorneys to register after you lose mental capacity, there will be an 8-12 week delay before the LPA can be used. In that time, you run the risk of important decisions needing to be made and anyone trying to assist you not having the appropriate authority to do so.
What if I do not have an LPA?
If you do not have an LPA and become unable to deal with your own affairs due to a loss of mental capacity, the process of appointing someone to stand in your place (and be your Court-appointed Deputy) can be cumbersome and costly.
A Deputyship Order will generally only confer limited or specific authority on your Deputies and, therefore, further applications may need to be made later to deal with other aspects of your property and finances. The application could also be contested, which, in turn, will impact the timelines and cost for your Deputy. This could create difficulty and stress for you and your loved ones.
Appointing an Attorney under an LPA is far less expensive and gives you and your family peace of mind for the future.
Come and See Us
We have a dedicated team of experienced, professional and friendly Lawyers who look forward to meeting you in our Norwich, Wymondham and Lowestoft offices. We also offer home visits at an additional fee.