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Lasting Powers of Attorney

A Lasting Power of Attorney is a document that allows you (“the Donor”) to choose someone – one or more family members, friends or professionals – that you trust to make decisions on your behalf should lose the mental capacity to make those decisions for yourself, for example through accident, illness or old age.

If you lose capacity and do not have a Lasting Power of Attorney in place then anyone is entitled to make an application to the Court of Protection to be appointed to deal with your affairs - this may not necessarily be the person you yourself would have chosen!

There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney. One relates to property and financial affairs, the other to healthcare including issues such as where you would want to live. Before the Lasting Power of Attorney can be used it must be correctly signed by you and your attorneys, as well as at least one Certificate Provider – usually a solicitor or GP – and then registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.

Once the document is submitted to the Office of the Public Guardian the registration currently takes anywhere between 12 and 18 weeks. It is worth bearing in mind that the Lasting Power of Attorney must be registered before it can be used, but does not necessarily need to be used as soon as it is registered.

We are able to advise you fully on all aspects of your Lasting Power of Attorney to enable you to make the best decisions for you, for example:

  • who you choose to be your attorney or attorneys
  • whether you wish to appoint any replacement attorneys
  • how your attorneys are appointed, be it jointly or jointly and severally
  • whether you wish to place any restrictions or conditions on your attorneys powers
  • whether you wish anyone else to be notified when your Lasting Power of Attorney is registered

We also ensure that the document is signed correctly, and we can sign the documents as Certificate Providers if you need us to. We can then also arrange registration of the document straight away if you wish. This makes sure that the document is ready to use whenever your attorneys need it, although of course it does not need to be used straight away – we are happy to store the registered documents in our strongroom free of charge until they are needed.

Lasting Powers of Attorney are extremely useful documents to have in place – not only do they ensure that someone you trust can deal with your affairs should you be unable to do so, they also provide peace of mind that friends or family will not have to make lengthy and expensive court applications should you lose capacity to manage your own affairs.

You should not think that Lasting Powers of Attorney are just for the elderly. In case of accidents or sudden illness they are wise planning for any one with assets such as bank accounts, investments or a property that would need to be dealt with on their behalf.

Read more about the other services provided by the Private Client team


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