If you need legal advice on Lasting Powers of Attorney or Deputyship, we would be delighted to help. Please do contact us.
We have lawyers who specialise in Lasting Power of Attorney advice and related future planning in our offices in Edgware and Central London. The right lawyer in the right location for you, providing value for money legal advice.
Lasting Power of Attorney Solicitors
Putting in place a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) can help you to plan for challenges ahead. Our lawyers are specialists and experienced in ensuring you are fully briefed, get the bespoke document you are comfortable with everything in place as swiftly as possible.
With offices in Central London and Edgware, North London, we have an expert lawyer available wherever you are based in London.
When to consider a Lasting Power Of Attorney?
A Lasting Power of Attorney (“LPA”) is a legal document that allows an individual to appoint persons they trust to act as their ‘Attorneys’ in dealing with their affairs. A Lasting Power of Attorney must be prepared and signed whilst the individual still has mental capacity.
The mistaken assumption that a spouse, child or a professional will simply be able to manage your affairs should you become mentally incapacitated is common but totally wrong. By the time a person is no longer able to make decisions for themselves, it’s too late to arrange an LPA.
Types of Lasting Power of Attorney
There are 2 types of LPA:
- Property and Financial Affairs – this covers a range of decisions such as selling a house, operating bank accounts on someone’s behalf and dealing with tax affairs. This LPA can be used as soon as registered, with the consent of the individual.
- Health and Welfare – allows the Attorneys to deal with matters of care, accommodation and consenting to, or refusing, medical treatment. This LPA can only be used by the Attorney once the individual loses mental capacity.
By obtaining proper legal advice in relation to an LPA, many fail safes, protections and restrictions can be put in place to best suit each individual set of circumstances.
Once an LPA is completed and signed, it is usually sent to the Office of the Public Guardian to be registered. The current cost is £82 per LPA for registration.
If you need a solicitor for a Lasting Power of Attorney please do get in contact. We provide experienced, rapid and affordable advice and can travel to meet clients where necessary.
How many attorneys should be appointed?
It is only legally necessary to appoint 1 Attorney but what happens if that person becomes ill or incapacitated? Appointing a single family member can also cause friction and disputes in some cases as well. You may also feel more comfortable ensuring that 2 attorneys are in place and must agree on how to manage your affairs if you are unable to do so or to in some way limit the ways in which the Attorney can deal with your property or health decisions. We would be happy to advise on all the options.
What is a Deputyship Order?
If you do not have an LPA registered and lose mental capacity, it may be necessary for a family member or close friend etc. to apply to the Court of Protection to appoint a Deputy(s) to make decisions on your behalf. This is a much more formal, lengthy and costly process than putting an LPA in place.
Types of Deputyship Order
- Property and Financial Affairs.
- Personal Welfare.
By comparison with an LPA, there is much more paperwork required for a Deputyship application, including the need to get an Assessment of Capacity from a medical professional. This makes the process much longer and more formal and, therefore, creates higher legal fees.
Further, the cost to register an LPA is £82, whereas the court fees for on Deputyship application is £365, which is a notable difference.
The extra time delay is also critical in these situations, especially if an individual needs access to funds for important care costs or standard of living payments. Unless it is “life and death”, the courts rarely give priority to urgent matters and applications usually take over 6 months to be processed.
Given the clear higher costs, and longer process of obtaining a Deputyship Order, it is best to consider putting in LPAs in place while you have the capacity to do so. Unfortunately, some medical conditions can cause an individual’s health to deteriorate drastically, which sometimes means that it can be too late for an LPA.
Contact Vassos to find out more about our experience and approach to advising on Lasting Powers of Attorney or the options available for you or a close relative. Vassos and the other specialist solicitors work from our offices in Edgware, Mayfair and the 3rd London office in Wigmore Street.