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Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document that allows an individual to appoint someone to make decisions on their behalf in case they lose mental capacity. The LPA is a powerful tool that provides peace of mind and ensures that the individual’s wishes are respected even when they are unable to express them.

In this article, we will explore the basics of LPA in the UK, including how to apply and relevant links and references.

What is an LPA?

An LPA is a legal document that allows an individual (known as the “donor”) to appoint one or more people (known as “attorneys”) to make decisions on their behalf in case they lose mental capacity. There are two types of LPA:

  1. Property and Financial Affairs LPA: This type of LPA allows the appointed attorney(s) to manage the donor’s finances, such as paying bills, selling property, or making investments.
  2. Health and Welfare LPA: This type of LPA allows the appointed attorney(s) to make decisions about the donor’s health and welfare, such as medical treatment, where they live, and their daily routine.

You can choose to make one type or both. There’s a different process in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

It is important to note that the LPA can only be used once it has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG).

Who can make an LPA?

Any person aged 18 or over who has the mental capacity to understand the nature and scope of the LPA can make one. It is important to make an LPA as soon as possible as it cannot be made once an individual has lost mental capacity.

How to apply for an LPA?

The process of applying for an LPA involves several steps, which are:

  1. Choosing an attorney: The donor must choose one or more individuals to act as their attorney(s). It is important to choose someone who is trustworthy and has the skills to manage the donor’s affairs.
  2. Completing the LPA form: The LPA form is available online from the UK government’s website or can be obtained from a legal advisor. The form must be completed with the donor’s details and signed by both the donor and the attorney(s). The form must also be signed by a certificate provider, who confirms that the donor has the mental capacity to make an LPA.
  3. Registering the LPA: The completed LPA form must be sent to the OPG for registration. The registration fee is £82 per LPA.
  4. Using the LPA: Once the LPA is registered, it can be used by the attorney(s) if the donor loses mental capacity.

It is important to note that the process of applying for an LPA can take several weeks, so it is advisable to start the process as soon as possible.

Web links and references

The UK government’s website provides comprehensive information on LPAs, including the LPA forms and guidance on how to complete them. The website also provides information on how to choose an attorney, how to register an LPA, and how to use it. The website can be accessed at https://www.gov.uk/power-of-attorney.

The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) is responsible for registering LPAs in the UK. The OPG’s website provides information on how to register an LPA, the fees involved, and how to contact them. The website can be accessed at https://www.gov.uk/government/organisations/office-of-the-public-guardian.

In summary, an LPA is a powerful tool that allows an individual to appoint someone to make decisions on their behalf in case they lose mental capacity. The process of applying for an LPA involves several steps, including choosing an attorney, completing the LPA form, registering the LPA, and using the LPA. The UK government’s website and the Office of the Public Guardian’s website provide comprehensive information on LPAs and can be used as valuable resources when applying for an LPA.

It is important to note that an LPA can be amended or cancelled at any time by the donor, as long as they still have mental capacity. If the donor loses mental capacity and has not made an LPA, then decisions about their welfare and finances may be made by the court of protection or a deputy appointed by the court. This can be a lengthy and costly process, which is why it is important to make an LPA as soon as possible.

In addition to LPAs, there are also Advance Decisions, which allow an individual to make decisions about their future medical treatment in case they lose mental capacity. Advance Decisions can be used to refuse treatment or to request specific treatments. It is important to note that Advance Decisions are legally binding and can be used to refuse life-sustaining treatment. More information about Advance Decisions can be found on the UK government’s website.

In conclusion, an LPA is a crucial legal document that allows an individual to appoint someone to make decisions on their behalf in case they lose mental capacity. The process of applying for an LPA involves choosing an attorney, completing the LPA form, registering the LPA, and using the LPA. The UK government’s website and the Office of the Public Guardian’s website provide valuable resources and information about LPAs, which can be used as references when applying for an LPA.

The gov.uk website has various help and guidance on Crime, justice and the law.

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By Dom Watts

Dom Watts founded the Ministry of Injustice in July 2021. Dom works in IT and has no legal training and is not a lawyer. You can find Dom on X or Google.

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