Lasting powers of attorney
When we plan for the future, we must face up to the possibility of future events which may be unwelcome. This includes the possibility of becoming unable to make decisions for ourselves due to physical or mental incapacity, whether brought on by an accident, illness or old age.
A lasting power of attorney is a legal document to appoint people you know and trust to look after your property and financial affairs or health and welfare should you become unable to do so yourself. It is like an insurance policy in case you lose your mental capacity or become physically frail.
How do they work?
Before your chosen attorneys can use the powers, they must, first of all, be registered by the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG).
The OPG check the forms to ensure they have been completed correctly and that the procedural requirements to have them registered have been complied with.
Assuming everything is in order, the OPG will stamp the forms to confirm their registration and return them to us. We, normally, then have the forms locked away in our strongroom for safe-keeping until they need to be used.
Your Boys & Maughan lawyer will advise you on how your LPA will work and you and your chosen attorneys may also find these Office of the Public Guardian guides helpful:
- LP11 Getting started as an attorney: property and financial affairs
- LP10 Getting started as an attorney: health and welfare
Can I include restrictions?
Yes. You can, for example, state that your attorneys can only act for you if you lose your mental capacity. We can advise you on the restrictions that are possible and are permitted by the OPG.
What safeguards are there?
Firstly, you select someone you know or someone you trust, like a Solicitor or GP, to be your certificate provider. They will discuss your forms with you and counter-sign them for you if they agree the forms have been completed in accordance with your wishes and that no one is putting any pressure on you to make the powers in their favour.
Secondly, you may nominate someone you know to be told about your lasting power of attorney forms. If they have any concerns about your chosen attorneys, they can contact the OPG about their concerns before your forms are registered.
What happens when my attorneys need to use the powers?
If your attorneys need to look after your financial affairs, we will send them certified copies of your property and financial affairs form for their use.
Your attorneys will take or send a copy to your bank, building society, pension provider, or other financial institution with whom you are affiliated. They will then be registered on your accounts, pension policy, or other financial assets, and will be able to access/operate them on your behalf.
If your attorneys need to make health and welfare decisions for you, again, we will provide them with certified copies of your health and welfare form to be registered with your GP or other health professionals involved in your care.
Are you an attorney for a property and financial affairs LPA? If so, click through to read a Q&A about your responsibilities.
Lasting powers of attorney for business owners
It is important to choose someone familiar with your business to act as your attorney and this might mean selecting different attorneys for business and personal affairs. Click here for more information.
Why choose us?
- We have a flexible approach and will tailor our services to your needs
- We offer fixed fees wherever possible
- We are regulated specialist advisers on wills, lasting powers of attorney, probate, trusts, and care and estate planning
- Our team includes members of Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP) and Solicitors for the Elderly (SFE)
- We confirm our advice and your instructions in writing
- No storage fees – we store your documents securely for free
- Boys & Maughan has been providing expert local advice for over 200 years.
Contact us to discuss your circumstances
Our usual approach is to have an initial no obligation phone call to explore your needs and circumstances. During the conversation we will be happy to discuss our fees and offer you an appointment at one of our offices. Please ring your local Boys & Maughan office, use the form on this page to drop us a line, or view our team profiles and contact one of our lawyers directly.