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Why is a Lasting Power of Attorney so important?

Published on 05 March 2021 01:01 PM

A power of attorney is a legal document that allows someone to make decisions for you, or act on your behalf, when you're no longer able to make your own choices. With an aging population across the UK, many people grow anxious about who would make decisions on their behalf should the worst happen. These anxieties have only increased during the pandemic, where self-isolation has highlighted many people’s vulnerability and dependency on others.

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) gives someone else the authority to make decisions about your finances and/or health and care, if you were to lose mental capacity and were unable to make those important decisions for yourself. There are two types of LPA: Health and Welfare, and Property and Financial Affairs. You can choose to make one, or both.

Who should I choose to be my attorney?

Your attorney(s) will have the power and responsibility to make decisions about the most important aspects of your life, and so it is very important to choose someone who you trust that will act in your best interests. Many people choose someone that they are close to, like a partner, a family member or a friend.

There are several restrictions when choosing your attorney(s); most importantly, they must be over the age of 18 and willing to be named as an attorney. Also, you cannot choose your paid carer, unless there are exceptional circumstances (e.g. they’re your only relative).

How much does a Lasting Power of Attorney cost, and do I need a solicitor?

The registration fee for each LPA is £82; if there is an error in the forms then they will be rejected, with a re-submission fee of £41. You don't have to use a solicitor to create an LPA. The application forms from the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) contain guidance to help you fill them out. You can find these the forms online here.

However, taking professional advice could prevent problems later on, especially if you’re unsure of the process or your affairs are complex. Solicitor fees can vary, and legal fees can be costly.

Alternatively, Age Cymru West Glamorgan offers a Lasting Power of Attorney service at a much-reduced rate when compared to the average cost of using a solicitor. Our dedicated Lasting Power of Attorney Advisor will help you to understand the process, choose your attorneys, and ensure that everything is in place before the document(s) is registered. You can read more about our Lasting Power of Attorney service, inclusing our fees, here.

To make an appointment for a FREE LPA consultation with Age Cymru West Glamorgan contact our Homecare Plus team on 01792 589654 or email enquiries@agecymruwestglamorgan.org.uk.