There are actually two types of LPA; one concerning financial matters (a property and affairs LPA) and the other health care matters (a personal welfare LPA).
Every LPA needs to be registered by the Office of the Public Guardian before it can be used and will require a Certificate Provider to sign and declare that the person making the LPA has the required capacity to do so, and does so of their own free will.
It is mandatory for an LPA to be registered and the attorney(s) will have no authority to act until the LPA has been registered. An attorney will not be able to act to help the donor of the power until it has been registered. Currently, an application to Court to register an LPA can take up to 3-4 months to be completed.
Whilst the application is being processed, the LPA has no effect. This means that the attorneys cannot manage the individuals financial affairs which can often be difficult if bills are outstanding or assets need to be dealt with (such as selling a house).
By registering now you avoid register potential hardship for the donor and the family.
If you do not make an LPA and you lose the capacity in the future to look after your own affairs, more often than not a family member is left to make an application to the Court of Protection in order to protect your best interests.
Not only does this remove the ability for you to personally select a trusted family member or friend (or a professional such as a solicitor) to make decisions on your behalf, but such an application process is ultimately more costly and time consuming. As well as the considerable initial cost of the application there are also annual fees payable to the Court and to insurance brokers as a condition of the appointment. While planning for such circumstances is never easy, we recommend everyone over 18 years of age makes a LPA to ensure arrangements are in place for the future.
Many individuals prefer to choose a professional look after their affairs. Our skilled solicitors have a vast amount of experience looking after the affairs of clients who have lost capacity. At Linder Myers we offer two differing levels of service to suit each client’s individual needs. Both levels of service offer our clients a fully registered LPA. In addition our comprehensive premium service also includes a home visit from one of our specialist solicitors. And while if we act as your attorney we are not able to act as a Certificate Provider, through our premium offer we can also help you find a suitable alternative provider, guiding you personally through the entire process. We can also assist with the registration of the LPA, ensuring that all correct formalities of the Court have been adhered to.
The Ministry of Justice has launched the OPG fee refund scheme. A claim for a partial refund of the application fee can be made by anyone who registered a Lasting Power of Attorney between 1st April 2013 and 31 March 2017. Anyone who thinks that they may be eligible should go to www.gov.uk/power-of-attorney-refund for further details. The scheme is by way of application online, however, clients who have no access to the internet can ring the OPG on their helpline number in order to action a telephone claim instead 0300 456 0300 (choose option 6). Alternatively the Refunds Helpline email address is firstname.lastname@example.org.