Lasting Powers of Attorney

Growing older can mean problems for us and our loved ones

What if I am unable to manage my affairs?

There may come a time when you are unable to manage your financial affairs or personal welfare, owing to some form of incapacity, and you will need someone to act on your behalf.

Even when we are young, we can be incapacitated due to illness or injury. It can be invaluable to have a reliable person who can manage your personal affairs and remove the anxiety of having unpaid bills when you most need peace of mind.

Similarly, as we increase in age, an attorney's need increases as we are more prone to illness and injuries.

Creating a Lasting Power of Attorney in advance ensures that if the worst were to happen, you could rest assured that both your financial affairs and personal welfare are in safe hands.

Option 1: Documents Only

The above costs do not include the registration fees (usually £82.00 per document), payable to the Office of the Public Guardian and depend on your income or benefits. We will take your instructions via telephone, Zoom or in person and provide advice as we complete the documents. The documents will be completed fully; the only part we cannot complete for you is the signatures and witnesses. We will send the documents with detailed signing instructions and a checklist for you to get the documents signed; you can also call us, and we will talk you through the signing. You will also have an envelope to post the documents directly to the Office of The Public Guardian for registration. The correspondence and documents will be returned to you or your attorney, and you will need to call the Office of the Public Guardian for any updates or deal with any queries yourself. If any mistakes are made on the documents, you are responsible for rectifying them and may have to pay the registration fee again.

Option 2: Documents, Check & Send (recommended)

The above costs do not include the registration fees (usually £82.00 per document), payable to the Office of the Public Guardian and depend on your income or benefits. If you are entitled to a reduction or exemption of the registration fees, we will check your proof of this to ensure it is acceptable. All of the above services for Option 1 are included, except you return the documents back to us for us to check they have been signed correctly. If any errors are spotted, we will rectify these with you until we are satisfied the documents are ready for registration. We will also email any attorneys living abroad. Once satisfied, we will post the documents to the Office of the Public Guardian for registration. We will take responsibility that they are accepted the first time, and you will pay the registration fee only once. We will generate and register the documents again at no extra cost if we are at fault. We will also go on the document as a correspondence which means we can liaise with the Office of the Public Guardian on your behalf during the registration process; we can also deal with any queries on your behalf and get you updates. If you were to lose capacity before they are registered, we would call to prioritise the documents. Once registration is complete, we will receive the documents back to check them and arrange their return, or you can take us up on our storage option.

Frequently Asked Questions

Power of attorney is a legal document where one person (the donor) gives another person the right to make decisions on their behalf.

If you want someone to act on your behalf in financial or medical decisions, you'll need to give them Power of Attorney over your affairs.

You can only set up a Power of Attorney while you still have the ability to weigh up information and make decisions for yourself, known as 'mental capacity' - so it's worth putting one in place early on.

There are two types of lasting Power of Attorney.

We would recommend setting both up at the same time. Many people do this while reviewing or revising their will.

Property and financial affairs

This gives your attorney the power to make decisions about your money and property, including:

  • managing bank or building society accounts
  • paying bills
  • collecting a pension or benefits
  • if necessary, selling your home

Health and welfare

This gives your attorney the power to make decisions about:

  • your daily routine (washing, dressing, eating)
  • medical care
  • moving into a care home
  • life-sustaining medical treatment

Putting in place a Power of Attorney can give you peace of mind that someone you trust is in charge of your affairs.

The most common use is if you're facing an illness, or believe your mental capacity might deteriorate, it's worth thinking about who you would like to handle your affairs.

If a Power of Attorney isn't set up in advance, it can lead to complications if you (or a loved one) have difficulty looking after your own finances in the future, or if you will need care or support arrangements to be organised.

For this reason it's best to organise an LPA sooner rather than later. This will give peace of mind to both yourself and your family members. If you wait until it is urgently needed, it may be too late.

If you're concerned that someone you care for might lose their mental capacity (for example, if they’re in the early stages of dementia), talk to them about organising an LPA as soon as possible.

Your attorney(s) can start using the powers granted by your Finance and Property LPA as soon as it is registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). Your Health and Welfare LPA can be used once it is registered with the OPG and you have lost the capacity to make decisions yourself. However, you can specify the extent of the authority you are granting, or put restrictions within the document if you wish to do so. For example, you may wish to specify your attorney(s) can start managing your financial affairs in the event of your mental incapacity and not before. It is worth noting that it is becoming increasingly difficult for third parties to assist in managing the financial affairs of another. It is now a criminal offence to handle the affairs of someone who is incapable (even if prior authorisation was given) without a registered LPA.

A Will is a separate document to a Power of Attorney. A Will is only effective on your death and has no legal authority prior to that point. A Power of Attorney is effective whilst you are alive and allows others to act on your behalf during your lifetime.

The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) offers forms you can complete yourself. However, this comes with risks. If you complete the documents and there are any errors, the OPG could reject them, and you may have to resubmit and pay the registration fee again. Our service offers additional support and guidance, enabling you to have your document reviewed by one of our qualified specialists. You can also contact us with any questions as you complete your forms.

No. The registration fee is a separate fee payable directly to the Office of the Public Guardian. The cost is currently £82 per document unless individual income is under 12k per annum, in which case it's half price or free if you are claiming specific means-tested benefits.

Loss of mobility or illness can make it challenging to manage your affairs

  • An elderly relative losing capacity is difficult enough for loved ones to deal with without the worry that finances are becoming muddled.
  • The prospect of unpaid bills can cause unnecessary stress and anxiety and delay someone's recovery.
  • Having someone you know and trust managing your affairs is far more preferable than a court official.
  • Even the young can encounter problems due to accidents or illness.
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