Lasting Power of Attorney, Uncategorized

The Importance of Instructing a Solicitor or Professional when Preparing a Lasting Power of Attorney

A Lasting Power of Attorney is a powerful and important legal document.  By making a Lasting Power of Attorney you are setting up an arrangement which will potentially give someone authority to deal with everything you own and your personal care at a time when you will be at your most vulnerable.

The benefits of using a solicitor/professional are as follows:

  1. A dedicated professional whose expertise are those of drafting Lasting Powers of Attorney. They will look after you throughout the whole process.
  1. They will prepare all documentation for you and explain all options that can be taken.
  1. They will deal with the registration process with the Office of the Public Guardian.
  1. They will agree a fixed price up front with no hidden charges.
  1. They will act as your certificate provider so that no third party is required.

There are many errors that can be made when preparing a Lasting Power of Attorney but by using a solicitor/professional who specialises in Lasting Powers of Attorney, these errors are less likely to occur.

Some common errors are:

  1. When appointing more than one Attorney and you appoint those Attorneys jointly, if one Attorney predeceases the Donor or is unable to act for any reason, then the other Attorney cannot act alone. Therefore, the Lasting Power of Attorney becomes void.  This would result in a new Lasting Power of Attorney having to be made.
  1. There is a strict order of signing the Lasting Power of Attorney which must be maintained. First must be part A, then part B and finally part C.  If these are signed and dated in the incorrect order the Lasting Power of Attorney would be rejected at registration with the Office of the Public Guardian.
  1. Any mistakes made on the Lasting Power of Attorney must be crossed through, written again and initialled by the person completing that particular section and witnesses if appropriate. If the mistakes are not initialled again, the Lasting Power of Attorney could again be rejected at registration.

These errors are just to name a few but there are many more that could cause a Lasting Power of Attorney to be rejected when registering.

In some cases, the Donor may require use of the Lasting Power of Attorney quite urgently.  Registration is currently taking 2-3 months, however, if the Lasting Powers of Attorney is rejected at registration this can hold things up considerably.

Therefore, it is beneficial to instruct a Solicitor/Professional to prepare a Lasting Power of Attorney. Please contact our Elderly Client Department for more information on:

Pudsey – 0033 3344 9606

Yeadon – 033 3344 9609

or email info@morrishsolicitors.com

 

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Important things to do if your elderly relative or friend goes into a Care Home

  1. Check the relative’s house is secure – Insurers are notified, valuables are removed etc.
  1. Check that someone is able to manage the relative’s financial affairs.  Most  residents of Care Homes will need assistance with their financial affairs.  Check if there is a Lasting Power of Attorney or Enduring Power of Attorney authorising someone to handle financial matters.
  1. If there is no Power of Attorney, can the relative sign one now to appoint someone to assist?  If they are able to understand a Power of Attorney then you should discuss this with the relative as soon as possible.
  1. If the relative is unable to understand a Lasting Power of Attorney then it is necessary to apply to the Court of Protection.  Someone will need to apply to the Court to be appointed as a Deputy to manage the financial affairs. This takes time (four months or so) so it is sensible to get on with it, as financial matters will need sorting.
  1. Apply for Attendance Allowance if this is not being received already.  This is a tax-free benefit which is not means tested for elderly people who need assistance with care.  The rate is £55.10 per week if the relative needs help during the day only, and £82.30 per week if assistance is required both day and night.
  1. Consider how the care is going to be paid for.  The Local Authority will provide assistance with care if a person has assets less than £23,250. Otherwise it is necessary to pay for the care in full.
  1. It is always sensible to obtain advice about the above matters.  Solicitors who are members of “Solicitors for the Elderly” will always be able to assist.  At Morrish Solicitors, four of our Solicitors are members  Tom Morrish and Monika Volsing work at our Yeadon Office.  Charlotte Bandawe and James Shingleton work at our Pudsey Office.  We also see clients at our office in Oxford Row Leeds LS1 3BE.  See solicitorsfortheelderly.com
Uncategorized

Expecting the Unexpected – Lasting Powers of Attorney & How They are Changing

What happens if you can’t make decisions for yourself one day? You make a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) today! LPAs are legal documents that allow you (the Donor) to appoint one or more Attorneys (people you know and trust) to make decisions on your behalf.

Making an LPA now could ensure someone you trust can help you if you can’t help yourself in the future. If you don’t have an LPA and you lose your mental capacity, you could find yourself with a Court-appointed Deputy managing your affairs and this wouldn’t necessarily be someone you know.

You could say having an LPA is like having an insurance policy. There is an initial cost and you might never need it. But should you ever get into difficulty, it could come in really handy, saving you time and money.

The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) is the government body that oversees LPAs. As with most legal documents, LPAs require a lot of administration. The OPG decided this could be reduced with some streamlining. To that end, they introduced new paperwork as of 1 July 2015. The changes reflect responses to the OPG’s consultation and feedback from users who were directly involved in their development.

Under the new forms:

  • The requirement for a second Certificate Provider has been removed. A Certificate Provider vouches for the Donor’s mental capacity – either in their professional capacity or having known the Donor for over two years;
  • Immediate registration is encouraged by incorporating the registration pages within the form, which used to be on a separate form. However, this does make the form quite long (20+ pages);
  • You no longer have to notify someone about the registration – this is now optional but is still on the form.

However, other safeguards remain the same, such as the need for independent witnesses to the Donor’s and Attorneys’ signatures.

There are two types of LPA and it was originally hoped the OPG would merge the ‘Property & Financial Affairs’ form with the ‘Health & Welfare’ form to create one LPA for both and reduce registration costs. On the new forms, the two types of LPA are now referred to as ‘Financial Decisions’ and ‘Health & Care Decisions’.

The OPG will be accepting both the old and new versions for the next six months. From 1 July 2015 until 1 January 2016, you can use either the old or new forms to create and register an LPA. If an old form has been completed, signed and dated correctly by 1 January 2016, it can still be registered at any time.

If you are interested in making an LPA but you would like the guidance of an experienced solicitor to enable your application to be successful, call our Elderly Client Team on:

  • 0333 3449609 for Tom or Monika at our Yeadon office or;
  • 0333 3449606 for Charlotte or James at our Pudsey office.

We are specialists in the fields of Wills, Probate and LPAs/Deputyships. We are also members of Solicitors for the Elderly and we are Dementia Friends Champions for the Alzheimer’s Society.

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Lasting Powers of Attorney for Health and Welfare

A Lasting Power of attorney (LPA) is a document where an individual (known as a Donor) can appoint a third party as their attorney to deal with their affairs.

There are two types of LPA:

Property & Financial Affairs – which are the most common and are used for an attorney to deal with the Donor’s financial matters and their property affairs.

Health & Welfare – these are made less frequently, however when a Donor makes a Health & Welfare LPA the attorney is able to deal with the Donor’s personal welfare and healthcare decisions.

Unlike an LPA for Property & Financial Affairs the attorney appointed under a Health & Welfare LPA can only make decisions when the Donor does NOT have capacity to make these decisions for themselves.

The Donor can grant their attorney the authority to give or refuse consent to life sustaining treatment, which is any treatment that a doctor considers necessary to keep an individual alive. This could be surgical, the provision of drugs, or artificial nutrition or hydration.

The attorney will also be able to make decisions as to which care/residential home the Donor is to reside in and to liaise with medical and healthcare professionals with all matters relating to the health and well-being of the Donor.

The Donor can control the attorney’s use of the LPA by providing restrictions and conditions which their attorney MUST abide by. This could be to express the Donor’s religious views when the attorney is to consider certain kinds of medical treatment, for example, blood transfusions or to stipulate that the attorney must seek medical advice before consenting to treatment or any other course of action.

The Donor can assist their attorney when making other kinds of decisions in the Donor’s best interests by providing guidance, examples of this can be the area the Donor wishes to live or the type of residential home the Donor would prefer to live in if required. This guidance given is NOT binding on the attorney.

It is important to remember that the Donor can only provide instructions for their attorneys to follow which is legal. An attorney can NEVER be forced to follow any decisions which may place them at risk from criminal prosecution, for example Euthanasia cannot be authorised by a Donor under a Health & Welfare LPA.

It is therefore advisable when considering making a Health & Welfare LPA that the Donor must consider their future healthcare requirements in detail. It is good practice to discuss these requirements with family and medical professionals prior to making a Health & Welfare LPA as well as the attorneys to be appointed.

How can we help?

Morrish Solicitors Elderly Client Department prepare LPA’s for both Property & Financial Affairs and Health & Welfare. We offer advice and guidance with regard to both types of LPA’s and the registration of the LPA’s with the Office of the Public Guardian as an LPA cannot be used until it has been registered.

The costs for this are often expensive due to the work required to be undertaken and we are currently offering a discount of  “Buy one get one Half Price” for the preparation of both LPA’s for Property & Financial Affairs and Health & Welfare.

Lasting Power of Attorney, Power of Attorney

Lasting Power of Attorney Month @ Morrish

What is a lasting power of attorney (LPA)?
It’s a legal document that lets you (the ‘donor’) appoint people (known as ‘attorneys’) to make decisions on your behalf. It could be used if you became unable to make your own decisions. There are two types of LPA: health and welfare; and property and financial affairs. You can choose to make one type or both.

You must be 18 or over and have mental capacity – the ability to make your own decisions – when you make your LPA. You may need a court-appointed deputy instead if you’re not able to make your own decisions.

Why do you need an LPA?
If you find you’re in a position where it’s getting difficult to get out of the house to go to the bank, post office, etc, or you’ve been diagnosed with a condition that means your mental capacity will deteriorate, like dementia, making an LPA now could help you choose someone you trust to help you make decisions or act on your behalf in the future.

A health and welfare LPA allows you to choose one person or more to make decisions about things; like your daily routine (e.g. eating and what to wear), medical care, moving into a care home and life-sustaining treatment. This type of LPA can only be used when you’re unable to make your own decisions.

A property and financial affairs LPA lets you choose one person or more to make decisions about money and property for you; like paying bills, collecting benefits and selling your home. This type of LPA can be used as soon as it’s registered, with your permission.

If it sounds like either of these LPAs could be useful to you, a family member or friend, contact us for further details of how we can help you to obtain them.

During the month of February, we will be offering a £75 discount per LPA to our Leeds and West Yorkshire based clients.

Call 0113 2507792 for Tom or Monika at our Yeadon office or 0113 2248080 for Charlotte or James at our Pudsey office. Alternatively, you can email info@morrishsolicitors.com (please quote ‘LPA Month Morrish’).