Empowering Your Future: A Guide to Setting Up Power of Attorney

At Maclaren Warner, we understand the importance of planning for unforeseen circumstances. A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a crucial tool that grants a trusted individual the legal authority to manage your affairs if you're ever unable to do so yourself.

Our Head of Private Client Services Teressa McDonald gives some guidance on Lasting Powers of Attorney

Understanding the LPA:

There are two primary LPAs available:

  • Property and Financial Affairs LPA: This empowers your attorney to manage your finances and assets, even while you retain decision-making capacity. This can be particularly useful for delegating tasks like managing bank accounts.
  • Health and Welfare LPA: This LPA comes into effect only if you lose the ability to make your own healthcare decisions. It allows your attorney to make crucial choices regarding your medical care.

Choosing Your Attorney:

The selection of your attorney is paramount. You can appoint one or more individuals, granting them independent or joint decision-making authority. Independent authority usually simplifies the process. Substitute attorneys can also be designated.

Selecting the Right Person:

  • Implicit Trust: Your chosen attorney should be someone you trust unquestionably.
  • Age Consideration: Ideally, your attorney should be younger than you, ensuring their ability to assist you when needed.

Formalities and Registration:

  • Specificity is Key: The LPA documents must clearly outline the specific powers granted to your attorney, considering unique circumstances like investment management or pension decisions.
  • Form Completion and Signatures: Completed LPA forms require signatures from yourself, your chosen attorney(ies), and a witness verifying your mental capacity. Additionally, list individuals you wish to be notified of your LPA registration.
  • Registration with the OPG: For the LPA to be legally enforceable, it must be registered with the Office of Public Guardian (OPG). The OPG will validate the forms and return the originals to you for safekeeping.

Benefits of Early Registration:

While registration isn't mandatory upon signing, it streamlines the process if your attorney needs to act swiftly. Unregistered LPAs can lead to delays as the OPG processes the forms, potentially taking several months.

Early registration also allows for identifying and rectifying any errors before they become problematic. If errors surface after you lose capacity, the LPA could be invalidated, leaving you without designated decision-makers.

Furthermore, a registered LPA empowers your attorney to make critical medical decisions during emergencies.

By taking these proactive steps, you can create a safety net and empower your chosen representative to manage your affairs effectively, should the need arise.

To speak to one of our experts, get in touch with us at our Eastwood office on 01773 713846 or our Ilkeston office on 0115 930 4994

This content does not constitute legal advice and is provided for general information purposes only.

Published May 28, 2024

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Our specialists are ready and on hand to support you through the process. Talk to us today to find out more.

68 Nottingham Road,
Eastwood, Nottingham,
NG16 3NQ
First Floor Finance Block
Wharncliffe Road
Ilkeston, Derbyshire

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