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LPAs Explained (7 FAQs)

View profile for Sarah Geering
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How can I make sure that someone I trust can speak for me or make decisions on my behalf in the future if I can’t (or don’t want to?)

By making a legal document called a Lasting Power of Attorney (an LPA).  There are two kinds: a Property and Finance LPA and a Health and Care LPA. 

What is an LPA for Property and Finance?

This can cover things like paying bills and running a bank account and even selling and buying property.  You can restrict the types of decisions your attorneys can make if you wish.  The person or people you appoint (your attorneys) must act in your best interests and keep proper records.

You can choose whether this type of LPA can be used while you still have mental capacity (which can be useful if you are ill or physically incapacitated) or whether it only comes into force if you lose capacity.

What is an LPA for Health and Care decisions?

This can ONLY be used if you lose the mental capacity to make and communicate your own decisions.  It can cover things like where you live and how you are looked after but also covers medical treatment and decisions about life-sustaining treatment.

Some care homes insist that a Health and Care LPA is in place. 

What would happen if I don’t have an LPA?  Can’t my partner or next of kin deal with things for me?

No!  If you can’t make decisions for yourself any more, banks and other financial organisations will require an LPA.  When someone lacks the ability to make their own decisions about their health or care, professionals are limited in the information they can share or action that can be taken without an LPA.  The Court of Protection can become involved: this can be a time-consuming and costly process.

I made an Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA) – what’s the difference? 

EPAs were replaced by LPAs in October 2007 but if you have made one it should still be valid.

EPAs do not cover health and care decisions

EPAs can only be registered when the person who set it up loses capacity or wants it to be used.  The registration can take several months.  An LPA can be registered as soon as it is made.

How do I make an LPA?

You can make the application yourself either online or by obtaining forms from the Office of the Public Guardian.  But if you are unsure, you might prefer to ask a solicitor to prepare the forms for you and submit them to the Office of the Public Guardian.  Because they are official documents, the LPAs must be correctly completed to avoid rejection.

What does it cost?

The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) charges a registration fee of £82 per LPA so it will cost £164 to register both types.  The OPG is the government body that oversees the register of LPAs.  If you decide to instruct a solicitor to help you with the drafting of the LPAs and the submission to the OPG, then additional costs will apply.  Kingsfords currently charge £370 plus VAT and OPG registration fee for both types of LPA.