How to Make a Lasting Power of Attorney
To make a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) in England and Wales, you need to fill in the necessary forms and register your LPA with the Office of the Public Guardian. You can do this yourself, or you can ask a solicitor to help you.
How to make a Lasting Powers of Attorney
There are three main steps to making a Lasting Powers of Attorney:
1. Choose your Attorney
Firstly, you need to choose your Attorney. This is the person who will manage your affairs and make decisions on your behalf. You are bestowing a lot of power, so it needs to be someone you know and trust. This might be a spouse, civil partner, child or close friend. You can also nominate a professional, such as a solicitor.
You can have more than one Attorney. If you do, you must consider how you want your Attorneys to make decisions. Do you want them to act ‘jointly’, where they all have to make decisions together? Or do you want them to act ‘jointly and severally’, where they can make decisions on their own?
It is also prudent to select replacement Attorneys. These people will step in, should your original Attorney(s) die or become incapacitated.
2. Fill in the LPA forms
Next, you need to fill out the necessary paperwork. You can either do this online at the gov.uk website. Or you can get the paper forms from the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) and post them.
There are two types of LPA: a health and welfare LPA and a property and financial affairs LPA. If you want your Attorney to make decisions about both your healthcare and your finances, then you’ll need to complete both sets of forms.
The forms must be signed by you, your Attorney(s), two witnesses and a certificate provider. The certificate provider is there to confirm that you are making the LPA of your own free will and that you understand the implications of signing the document. It needs to be a professional that you know well, such as a doctor, solicitor or social worker.
You can complete the forms yourself, but it is preferable to ask a solicitor to do it for you, especially if your affairs are complicated. Your LPA will be rejected if it contains mistakes. Even worse, it could be registered, but you might not bestow the necessary powers to the correct people. You can change your LPA once it’s registered, provided you still have mental capacity. However, you only amend certain details, so it’s not something you should rely on. You need to get it 100% accurate the first time round.
Before you proceed to the next step, you must also send an LP3 form to all the people you listed as ‘people to notify’ in your LPA. You must then wait three weeks. This gives them the opportunity to raise objections.
3. Register your LPA with the OPG
Finally, you need to register your LPA(s) with the Office of the Public Guardian. There is also a registration fee. You will have to pay this twice if you are registering both a health and welfare LPA and a property and financial affairs LPA.
Registration can take up to 12 weeks. Your application will only be approved if it is free of mistakes. There will also be delays if anyone raises any objection to your LPA – for example, because they think you were put under pressure to make an LPA and/or name a particular Attorney.
Your property and financial affairs LPA will take effect as soon as it is registered, unless you have provided specific instructions to the contrary. Your health and welfare LPA will only take effect once you lose mental capacity.
Remember that neither LPA can be enforced, unless you have registered it with the OPG.
Instruct Cook Law Solicitors
You can make a Lasting Power of Attorney by yourself, but most people use a solicitor – and with good reason. This is a very powerful legal document. It’s important to get it right, or you could put you and your loved ones at risk.
If you live in England or Wales and you would like to make an LPA, we can help you. We can complete the paperwork on your behalf and register it with the OPG. We will be on hand to answer your questions and guide you through the process, making the creation of your LPA simple and straightforward.