A Lasting Power of Attorney is a form of legal authority given by you to the people you love and trust to deal with your affairs should you lose mental capacity to deal with matters yourself in your lifetime. An LPA is not valid after death.
There are two types – one deals with Property and Financial matters and the other deals with Health and Welfare matters. You can draw up either or both, depending on your needs and circumstances.
Losing mental capacity through a sudden illness or accident can happen to anyone at any age. Many people think that these documents are only necessary for people who suffer from dementia, but they are really documents for everyone – at any time. They are a type of insurance in case bad things happen and should be drawn up when you are mentally fit and well – as once a person loses capacity, it is too late to draw up the document(s).
The documentation is quite lengthy and complex and it is advisable to have the benefit of sound legal advice before completing. Once the documents are completed and signed by all the relevant parties, they can then be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian – part of the Court of Protection. The registration process can take around 10 weeks. Once registered, the documents are available to use immediately if and when needed.
These documents were superseded by LPAs in October 2007 when the Mental Capacity Act 2005 came into force. If you have an old EPA it is wise to check that it is still current (ie whether you want to change the named Attorneys for whatever reason) as you may want to consider upgrading to a new LPA.
The Office of the Public Guardian are pedantic about the way the application forms are completed – rightly so because of their importance, there can be no ambiguity in the documents. We have many years experience in preparing Lasting Powers of Attorney and strongly recommend you use the services of a professional firm – like Parchment Solicitors – to prepare the documents for you.
To make an appointment to have an LPA drawn up – or your old EPA reviewed – call us now on 01753 890023 or e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org