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What happens when mum or dad are ill and can’t make decisions?

This is when a family member needs to set up a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPAs).   Deborah Adam’s, Director and Head of Private Client Department at Parnalls who deals with Probate, Wills and Financial administration gives her advice

What are they and why are they so important?

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document which allows you to appoint attorneys to make decisions for you, should you be unable to do so for yourself in the future.

An LPA is a safeguard and gives you peace of mind that should you have, for example an accident or lack mental capacity in the future then you will have attorneys appointed to deal with matters on your behalf.  Read more – link to website

Types of Lasting Power of Attorney

  1. Property and Financial Decisions:  You can appoint attorneys to make decisions on your behalf in regard to financial matters and your property.
  2. Health and Welfare Decisions:  This is a separate document which allows you to appoint attorneys to make decisions only when you lack mental capacity concerning such matters as medical treatment and care decisions.  Also included in this type of LPA is the option to grant your attorneys the ability to make decisions about refusal or consent to life sustaining treatment.

 The Formalities

There are various options in Lasting Powers of Attorney for you to appoint attorneys and also replacement attorneys depending upon your circumstances.  We will take detailed instructions from you to tailor make your Lasting Powers of Attorney and give you appropriate advice.

There is a requirement for a certificate provider to sign the Lasting Power of Attorney to verify that you understand the document and the powers that you are granting to your attorneys.  We offer the service of providing a certificate provider for you.

We also deal with the registration of your Lasting Powers of Attorney when they have been signed by you, your attorneys and ourselves as certificate providers.  By registering your Lasting Powers of Attorney after they have been signed they can then be used as and when the time comes.  This takes away any pressure or time delay in the future if your Lasting Powers of Attorney have to be activated.  As part of our service and charges we deal with the registration with the Office of the Public Guardian on your behalf.

When completed we will store your original Lasting Powers of Attorney in our strong room at no extra charge.

ENDURING POWERS OF ATTORNEY (EPAs)

The previous regime

If you already have an Enduring Power of Attorney please be aware that they remain valid but are limited to dealing with just property and financial affairs.  LPAs have now replaced EPAs and you can no longer make or alter EPAs. You may wish to review your Enduring Powers of Attorney and decide to make the new Lasting Powers of Attorney depending upon any change in circumstances.  You also have the option to add a Lasting Power of Attorney to deal with Health & Welfare Decisions to cover those aspects outside the scope of Enduring Powers of Attorney.

COURT OF PROTECTION DEPUTYSHIPS

Unfortunately if you do not have a Lasting Power of Attorney (or the old style Enduring Power of Attorney) in place and you lack mental capacity to deal with matters on your own behalf then it may be necessary for your family to make a formal application to the Court of Protection for a deputy to be appointed to act on your behalf.  This is a costly alternative and will place stress upon your family to make the application and have the ongoing involvement of the Court of Protection.  A Deputyship application should be regarded as a measure of last resort and that is why we always advise our clients to put in place Lasting Powers of Attorney whenever possible.

Costs

We offer a competitive charging structure for Lasting Powers of Attorney and would be happy to talk to you about your requirements.  Also please bear in mind that for each Lasting Powers of Attorney to be registered the Court charge a £110 fee.

What happens next …

If you would like to know more and decide you would like to make Lasting Powers of Attorney then contact Deborah Adams adamsd@www.parnalls.com 01566 772375 or Jonathan Pounder pounderj@www.parnalls.com

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