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Lasting powers of attorney: a powerful tool and an important choice

Shaun Elliott, Customer Service Manager at OPG, outlines a few things to think about when completing a lasting power of attorney (LPA) application.

An LPA is the only way that someone can choose who they trust to manage their affairs if they lose mental capacity and aren’t able to do so themselves.

Deciding to take out an LPA is a very important decision. So it’s important to know that there’s plenty of help and guidance available, from how to choose someone you trust (the most important step), to setting out how you want your affairs to be taken care of.

If your affairs are straightforward, you may prefer to fill in an application yourself or with a partner, family member or trusted friend. You may also choose to take specialist advice at additional cost.

Our online application process gets great user feedback, with a 90%+ approval rating. We’ve found that even professionals use it as it helps prevent errors by giving the right prompts and advice at each stage.

Sheila, a donor, discusses who she chose to act as her attorneys and how she went about applying.

Here are some things to remember.

  1. With a finance and property LPA you can choose when it can be used – and how. You can continue doing things yourself as you normally would. Your right to do so is protected.

For instance, you might have to go into hospital and want a family member or a friend to sort things out for a few weeks. You may choose to do some things yourself but allow someone else to do others. This can be set out in advance.

  1. A health and welfare LPA only comes into effect if you lose mental capacity. It gives your next of kin or chosen attorney(s) legal powers they don’t otherwise have over things like medical treatment and other lifestyle choices. In that way your wishes are known and may be carried out.

In one of our recent guest blogs Giles Meyers, Interim CEO at Carers Trust, discussed the importance of LPAs. He shared a carer’s experience that without an LPA they had problems and financial hardship in supporting their father. Also that the benefits of an LPA outweigh the cost in time, money and stress later on.

  1. Before an LPA can be used it must be registered with us at OPG. The cost of registration has recently reduced to £82 for each LPA, and people on low incomes may get help with the fee, or even pay no fee at all.

There’s lots more information available on GOV.UK to help you make and register LPAs, and learn more about making decisions on behalf of others.

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  1. Comment by Merle Cartwright posted on

    Most informative and helpful. Thank you.

  2. Comment by Peter harvey-Bennett posted on

    Why can we not have a single form which covers both finance and health? Such a form should then only cost one tranch of £82 rather than having to pay twice. Clearly this would only be appropriate when the same attorneys were to be used for both finance and health but for many people this would be the case anyway.

  3. Comment by Alan MIllichap posted on

    I have read your notes on raising an LPA, and am puzzled about how to proceed. I have an EPA in place which was raised by my Solicitor in 2016, but it has not been registered.
    I understand that an LPA means that in the event of my becoming infirm, my Trustees would be able to administer my affairs without the need to apply for registration (assuming it is registered) .
    Raising the EPA by the Solicitor cost about £800 at the time, and they are talking about another £400 to register it.
    Do I have to raise an LPA separately for £82, to register my EPA?
    I look forward to your reply
    Alan MIllichap

    • Replies to Alan MIllichap>

      Comment by Caroline Amos posted on

      Hi Alan, thanks for your question. The best thing to do is call our contact centre on 0300 456 0300 who will be able to advise you further.

  4. Comment by Diddi posted on

    Repeat of comment left and totally ignored by you on 18 April 2018 ... so I repeat it. If I do not get a reply this time I will be submitting a formal FOA request and alerting others to my concern.

    Reading LP12, page 30 - I am absolutely appalled at the 6th line which reads: "I would like to donate £100 each year to Age UK".
    "As someone who has had 'issues' with this 'charity' ... surely this is inappropriate / leading ... and consequently very poor practice? 'I would like to donate to 1 / more named charities' would in my eyes be far more professional.
    Please confirm on what grounds this has been inserted and confirm that it will be changed in the next edition.

    • Replies to Diddi>

      Comment by andreabreau posted on

      Hello - thank you for your query. I'm sorry that you've not yet had a reply on this. We'll look into this and will come back to you on this as soon as we can. Best wishes.

    • Replies to Diddi>

      Comment by Caroline Amos posted on

      Hello and thanks again for your query. I've looked into this and Age UK is used as an illustrative example of a charity that you could donate to.

      Thanks again for your feedback, we will take this into consideration the next time we review the LP12 form.

  5. Comment by D Binns posted on

    I have printed off your documents. I have not yet dropped them on the floor, but if I do, there is no chance that I can sort them. It is not acceptable to just quote a page number. Where is the document reference; where is the current issue date.