BY Emma Elwess, Pearsons & Ward Solicitors
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) lets you decide who you would like to make decisions for you if you lose mental capacity. While you may be tempted to try and do it yourself, the process is complicated and if not followed correctly your LPA may not be valid when you need to use it.
Emma Elwess, Head of Private Clients at Pearsons & Ward in Malton, gives you her top ten reasons why you should always use us to make an LPA.
An LPA must be:
• made by someone aged 18 or over who has mental capacity;
• prepared using prescribed forms which request specific information and include a number of safeguards to prevent abuse;
• accompanied by the required fee; and
• registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG).
The procedure for making an LPA may seem straightforward but is littered with traps for the unwary. Making a mistake can be costly and result in your application being rejected.
We can help you avoid problems by:
1. Advising who you should appoint to be your attorneys, checking they are willing and able to act and that they understand their responsibilities.
2. Explaining the different ways more than one attorney can be authorised to make decisions.
3. Helping you nominate replacement attorneys in case your original attorneys are unable to act.
4. Ensuring your wishes are expressed clearly so they can be carried out.
5. Including appropriate wording to ensure your cash and investments can be managed on your behalf.
6. Advising whether a separate LPA is necessary to protect your business interests.
7. Considering whether there is anything about your personal circumstances which means that your LPA may be restricted such as where you have property or assets abroad.
8. Advising how an LPA may be used where assets covered by the LPA are owned jointly.
9. Reviewing the things you need to do to prevent your application for registration being rejected by the OPG.
10. Preventing the validity of your LPA being challenged by arranging for a suitable certificate provider if capacity is in doubt.
We will act in your best interests and help you to understand the aim and effect of the LPA you are making.
For a confidential discussion about LPA’s contact Emma Elwess on 01653 692247 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.