Creating, Registering and Using a Lasting Power of Attorney, the three stages to being an Attorney.
The LPA is legal document which allows the applicant whilst they have mental capacity to create the legal document to appoint someone they know and trust to make decisions about their health, welfare, money or property if they were to lose capacity in the future.
An online application process retains all the safeguards needed to protect people’s interests. You are able to use the service by yourselves or, if you would like help with the process, with the help of a third party – for example, a family member, friend, family representative or a legal professional, a solicitor.
What the statistics tell us…
The number of people taking out Lasting Power of Attorney has increased significantly in recent years, with 150,000 registered in 2010/11 and 183,000 in 2011/12 and 229,000 2012/13 (An increase of 25% over the last year).
Being an Attorney
Uses for Health and welfare lasting power of attorney
-your daily routine (eg washing, dressing, eating)
-moving into a care home
It can only be used when a clinician certifies that you’re unable to make your own decisions.
Uses for Property and financial affairs lasting power of attorney
-managing a bank or building society account
-collecting benefits or a pension
-selling your home.It can be used as soon as its registered by the Attorney (even if the Donor is making decisions too) unless the Donor specifies in the LPA it can only be used in the event that a clinician certifies that you’re unable to make your financial and property decisions.
What our client’s say…
We would like to bring your attention some common issues with LPAs raised by our members whom we give talks to and our clients. They have asked us to share this information with other families in their position.
Thousands of people are being helped by a new online new web tool which can now be used to create an LPA Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) to be posted to the Office of the Public Guardian for registration. Soon the Government intends to accept forms online.When Creating the LPA, if you nominate someone to be notified, you need once certificate provider. The certificate providers are needed to witness the signature of the donors and attorneys nominated (including replacements) and to be satisfied the LPA duties were understood and agreed by the attorneys. One member reported that she needed two certificate providers, a professional clinician and a solicitor. Her dentist couldn’t be a provider she had understood, The OPG has clarified, any professional who has worked in health and social care and is familiar with LPAs can be a certificate provider, including our family representatives at dementia partners.
The Office of the Public Guardian has a legal duty to notify the donor and all attorneys of registration, and they will write a letter to the Donor when they have done this.
Effective Date of being the Attorney….
Property and financial affairs lasting power of attorney – One of our clients reported “I have had the LPA in a drawer for 2 years although my husband is losing capacity because I feel so guilty about asking for permission to use it. I don’t know how or when to use it” It can be used as soon as its registered by the Attorney (even if the Donor is making decisions at the same time) unless the Donor specifies in the legal document that it should not be used until a future time, for example in the event that a clinician says that you’re unable to make your own decisions.
There may be a crossover between who makes financial and health decisions. For example, if a care package is needed your financial attorney would choose a self funded package whilst a social worker or clinician would be the decision maker on the treatment and care plans. The attorney’s views “must” be taken into account in the decision making process.