An LPA could save your family £1000s
A lasting power of attorney is like a ‘living will’, a legal document allowing you to nominate individuals (attorneys) to make decisions for you if you are incapacitated.
Without an LPA in place, if you are no longer able to make decisions because of an accident or a condition like dementia, your loved ones will need to spend a lot of time and money before they can act on your behalf – it can cost well over £5,000.
Don’t be caught out by the popular misconception: LPAs are not just for when we’re older and need social care. Anyone can have a car accident, hit their head, or lose their faculties.
There are two types of LPA to consider
- Health and welfare: your attorneys can act on your behalf regarding your health and social services care. That might involve talking to the NHS about your treatment, where you might be treated, and where you might go once you’re discharged.
- Property & Affairs: your attorneys can make financial decisions on your behalf. A good example is a pension; if you haven’t started claiming your pension and you lose your capacity, your attorneys can do it for you.
What if I have an EPA?
The LPA’s predecessor is called an Enduring Power of Attorney, which stopped being offered on 1 October 2007. The LPA is more comprehensive and you might want to consider arranging one if you have an EPA, but it’s not essential.
How do I arrange an LPA?
Visit www.gov.uk/power-of-attorney, you can arrange one online or from printed forms. Bear in mind that if you fill out the form yourself and your application is rejected because of an error, your application fee will not be refunded – you’ll need to pay again. The Office of the Public Guardian helpline is very good, use it if you need to.
How much does it cost?
Arranging an LPA yourself costs £82, but if you earn £12,000 per year or less then it’s £42. Remember there are two types of LPA, so you’ll need to double that cost. If you’re on certain means-tested benefits you can get a waiver on the fees.
If you appoint someone to draft one for you – the questions you’ll have to answer for the LPA are reasonably complex – we have a cribsheet of all the questions you will be asked within our members area, you can access it here.