Lasting Power of Attorney
We are able to support peope living in the South to complete Power of Attorney forms and register successfully. This service is available for a donation (suggested donation of £100 would cover our costs).
The Power of Attorney forms this year were simplified to make the process easier however we understand that some people still need help and would want to avoid the cost of hiring a solicitor.
We have a team of trained volunteer advocates who have received specialist training on the completion of Power of Attorney forms. Your assigned advocate would be able to meet with you face to face to talk through the forms and what your requirements are. The advocate can visit you in your own home if needed.
Call us to book an appointment - 07739 951715
FAQs & Guidance:
Why do you need to complete Power of Attorney Forms?
Planning for the future but more importantly planning for the unknown….
We all know from bitter experience that life can be cruel and sometimes twists of fate can mean that people find themselves in situations that were never anticipated. Most of us are aware that it is sensible to make a will to ensure that those who we want to benefit from our estates, do so. We may have heard horror stories about those who didn’t, and how their estate was distributed. Many of us will have heeded the warnings and made a will - but how many of the same people will have made a Lasting Power of Attorney?
What is Power of Attorney?
It is a legal document that allows you to delegate responsibility during your lifetime for the management of your property and financial affairs or health and welfare matters to another person(s) in the event that you are unable to do so due to unavailability, illness or incapacity.
By creating a Power of Attorney you control who is appointed to deal with your affairs, in the event that you are unable to do so, and you decide what they can and can’t do on your behalf. This allows you to appoint persons you trust and you believe are able to make decisions the way that you would have done yourself if you were able. In the event that the worst happens and you become ill or suffer a major accident and do not have the capacity to manage your affairs and make decisions yourself, your attorney is able to do so on your behalf with the minimum of difficulty, ensuring that your best interests are considered, preserving continuity and ensuring that those who may be reliant upon you financially do not suffer any disadvantage.
Why do I need one?
Without a Power of Attorney, those who care about you are faced with a very different scenario in the event of your lack of capacity. They may be forced to make an application to The Court of Protection for an order appointing someone to deal with that person’s affairs. This can be a complicated, time consuming and expensive process. The Court will also have a continued involvement in that individual’s affairs and will place restrictions and limitations upon what can be done on their behalf in the future.
By creating a Power of Attorney you can ensure that if you and your family are faced with a difficult situation, your affairs will be managed as you wish, by people you trust and that those close to you do not face the uncertainty of waiting for a Court to decide how your affairs will be dealt with.
But I want to be in control of my own affairs, even as I get older……
Don't think you suddenly give up control. You can choose whether the Power of Attorney can be used before, or only when you lose mental capacity. For example, if someone fell into a coma, their chosen representative would start looking after their affairs. Yet if they woke from the coma, they would be able to make their decisions again. You can appoint one or more “attorneys” to act on your behalf, and you can determine how they work together to make decisions on your behalf.
Setting up Lasting Power of Attorney involves filling a form and an £130 fee which is payable to the Office of The Public Guardian where the LPA will be “registered”.
Remember, you can only set up a Lasting Power of Attorney when you have mental capacity. Once you have lost capacity, it's too late.
What is mental capacity?
Every day we make decisions about our lives. The ability to make these decisions is called mental capacity. Capacity may be lost due to a learning disability, dementia, mental health problem, brain injury or stroke.
Who decides if someone has capacity?
The Mental Capacity Act 2005 says a person is unable to make a decision if they can't do one of the following: understand information relevant to the decision; retain that information; use or weigh that information as part of the process of making the decision; or communicate the decision. When someone registers a power of attorney, a 'certificate provider' decides whether they're still capable of making that choice. This can be either someone the person making the LPA has known for two years, or a professional, such as a doctor, lawyer or social worker
Who should set up a power of attorney?
Regardless of health, everyone should consider Lasting Power of Attorney. Anyone over 18 can register a power of attorney; you don't need to be unwell. Charity Age UK says:
"There's no specific age when you should consider making a power of attorney. People can lose capacity at a young age through accidents. But if someone is diagnosed with a condition that is likely to cause loss of capacity, they may be well advised to think about who they want to make decisions for them when they can no longer do so themselves."
If the Power of Attorney is registered before the person loses capacity, there's no official moment when the power is activated. The representative simply chooses which decisions the donor is unable to make at the time they need to be made. Representatives must follow the Government's code of practice. They have a duty to act in the donor's best interests and only make choices the terms of the power of attorney allow them to make.
If the person who is making the LPA objects to their representative, the process stops completely. The person must then apply to The Court of Protection to establish that the representative is abusing their role. This can be done by calling the Office of the Public Guardian’s helpline on 0115 934 2777.