At Richardson tribe Lasting Powers of Attorney are the most important thing in any later life planning.
They come in two forms and put simply they allow you to choose who will manage both your assets and you should you lose capacity. Without them in place those decisions will fall to the social services.
There are two types:
1. Property and financial affairs, in [plain English this gives the attorney the power to control everything you own.
2. The health and welfare, in plain English this gives the attorney power over you as an individual, will you go into care or stay at home?
Lasting Powers of Attorney (at the time the power is given) requires that the donor must be capable of understanding its nature and effect for it to be valid. It will be necessary to make separate LPAs, one dealing with ‘property and financial affairs’ and the other to cover ‘personal welfare’ decisions
LPAs were created as a result of the Mental Capacity Act 2005 (MCA 2005), which covers England and Wales. The MCA 2005 provides a statutory framework to deal with situations where adults lack capacity to make decisions for themselves, or who have capacity, but want to make preparations for a time when they may lack capacity in the future. A Code of Practice supports the MCA 2005 and provides guidance and information to all those working under the legislation. Certain categories of people are obliged to have regard to the Code of Practice, including attorneys and those acting in a professional capacity, such as STEP members.The Property and Financial Affairs LPA is designed for you to appoint attorneys to make a range of decisions, including the buying and selling of your house and other assets, dealing with your tax affairs, operating bank and building society accounts and claiming benefits, on your behalf. These can be used at your direction while mentally capable, and also by the attorneys if you lack capacity to make these decisions. The Health and Welfare LPA enables attorneys appointed under this document to make decisions relating to your living accommodation and care, consenting to or refusing medical treatment on your behalf and on day-to-day matters, such as diet and dress. This can only be used if you have lost the capacity to make decisions.
The attorneys must state that they understand their duties and obligations.In addition, the legislation has introduced a person known as the ‘Certificate Provider’, who must be either someone who knows you well or a professional person The Certificate Provider must sign the form to confirm that they have discussed the contents of the LPA(s) with you on your own (if possible), that they can state that you understand the purpose and scope of the document, that no undue pressure or fraud has been involved in the decision to make an LPA and that there are no other factors preventing the creation of the LPA.
The people involved:
The person giving the power The Attorney
The person or persons appointed to make decisions for the donor.
Registering the LPA
An attorney cannot use the document to take control over a person’s estate until the document has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.The LPA can be registered any time after it has been completed and signed by those who are required to do so. Currently, the time for registration is approximately 10 weeks.A fee is payable for the registration of the LPA (£82 as at Seminar date), and the fee is charged for each LPA. A DONOR MAY BE EXEMPT FROM THIS FEE, DEPENDING ON THEIR FINANCIAL CIRCUMSTANCES.