Our very own Paula Tedder was a guest speaker on Radio Oxford over the weekend (24/11/19), discussing the topic of lasting power of attorney (LPA). Below, we have outlined Paula’s 5 key information points everyone should know when it comes to LPAs.
Firstly, it’s important to familiarise yourself with what a LPA is, as it is a very powerful legal document. Essentially, it allows you to choose people that you trust to make decisions on your behalf, if at any point you become unable to make decisions for yourself.
- There are 2 types of LPA: one deals with property and finance, e.g. the running of any bank accounts you may have, handling bills, managing any property you own. It also deals with your pension, taxes, investments and any instructions for your business if you are a business owner.
The other LPA focuses on health and welfare, so it applies to where you live, e.g. at home or in a care home, managing doctors’ appointments and you can also give your chosen person the ability to consent to or refuse life sustaining treatment.
- A LPA can be set up by anyone over 18 and at any point during their lifetime. It is particularly important for those who own a business or have children, so that they have a say in how their business is run or how and by whom their children are brought up.
- All LPAs are issued by the Office of the Public Guardian. You can start the process online by going to https://www.gov.uk/power-of-attorney and following the steps. Seeking legal advice is recommended as it is such a powerful document and only comes into action when you are potentially at your most vulnerable. A solicitor will be able to ensure everything is carried out accurately and in line with your wishes.
- Solicitor fees do vary. Most solicitors charge a fixed fee starting at £350 per document. However, many do offer reductions if you set up both LPA’s at the same time, or if you are a couple wanting to set up one each. The LPA doesn’t come into effect until it has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian; there is a registration fee of £82 per document. People who receive state benefits might be exempt from paying the fee, and those who earn under £12,000 per annum can get a 50% reduction.