Power of Attorney Solicitors
In England and Wales, a lasting power of attorney ("LPA") is a document which allows you to appoint a person that you trust to make decisions on your behalf should you become unable to do so yourself.
A lasting power of attorney can be granted at any time while you still have mental capacity (are still able to make decisions on your own behalf). It isn’t a legal power of attorney until it has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian.
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Thompsons' will service is provided by BBH Legal Services Limited, a subsidiary law firm wholly owned by Thompsons.
To learn more about this service, and how we can support you in making an application for a single or joint will, click on the link below or visit the BBH Legal Services Wills and Probate page.
Types of lasting power of attorney
There are two types of LPA – one which grants a person that you trust responsibility (either immediately or in future, should you lose mental capacity) for your financial and property affairs, and another which gives someone responsibility over your health and welfare needs. You can choose to appoint more than one person – such as a family member, spouse or a friend – to act as your attorney.
A lasting power of attorney is a cost-effective way of ensuring that, should the worst happen, and you are no longer able to manage your own affairs, you have a trusted person in place – with the appropriate legal documentation – who can coordinate things on your behalf.
Obtaining power of attorney
If you do not have an LPA in place and lose the mental capacity to manage your own affairs, a body called the Court of Protection may have the right to take over and support with setting up power of attorney. If this happens, your loved ones can apply to the Court of Protection for deputyship powers, but there is no guarantee that the application will be successful and the fees can cost thousands of pounds. Thompsons has expert power of attorney solicitors who can help those dealing with the Court of Protection because they did not have an LPA in place prior to the loss of mental capacity.
However, where possible, the best and most cost effective way to guarantee that the person you want is responsible for managing your affairs, should you become unable to, is to apply for a LPA while you are still in good health.
We find the lasting power of attorney service to be particularly valuable to our serious injury and asbestos disease clients, who are often looking for long-term solutions to ensure their complex needs are met and their affairs are in order. However, a lasting power of attorney can offer peace of mind to anyone who wishes to ensure their loved ones are able to manage their affairs in later life, or in the event of an accident or injury.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
1. What is a lasting power of attorney?
A lasting power of attorney is a legal document that enables you to appoint one or more people to make decisions for you, should you lose the mental capacity to do so. There are two types of lasting power of attorney: one covering health and welfare, and another covering financial decisions.
2. Why do I need a lasting power of attorney?
If you do not have a lasting power of attorney and lose the mental capacity to handle your own affairs, the Court of Protection can take over. A relative can apply to court to pursue those duties, but that application can cost thousands of pounds and may not be accepted.
3. Who should have a lasting power of attorney?
Anyone who, in the event of a serious injury or illness, would want a relative or loved one to be responsible for managing their affairs.
Thompsons Solicitors has witnessed the value of a lasting power of attorney for serious injury and asbestos disease clients.
4. How much does it cost to set up a lasting power of attorney?
The cost of setting up a lasting power of attorney differs, depending on whether you choose to enlist the expertise of a specialist solicitor, and your financial circumstances – if the person applying is eligible for certain state benefits then they may not have to pay. Setting up power of attorney in advance is always cheaper than having the Court of Protection controlling your affairs.
For free, no obligation advice, contact power of attorney specialists BBH Legal Services Ltd, Thompsons Solicitors’ wholly-owned subsidiary law firm.