A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document in England and Wales that lets the donor (you) choose trusted people (who can be family, friends, or a professional) known as attorneys to make financial decisions or health and care decisions on the donor’s behalf.
An LPA gives the donor more control over what happens to them if they have an accident or illness that means they cannot make their own decisions (they ‘lack mental capacity’). This is because the documents give opportunity for the donor to choose who they want to help them, how and when by giving instructions which are legally binding.
There are two types of LPA:
- Health and welfare – This document will only be used if mental capacity is lost. The donor can give authority for the attorneys to give or refuse consent to life-sustaining treatment. The health and welfare document also covers care packages, living arrangements and treatments.
- Property and financial affairs –The donor can choose to allow attorneys to help before mental capacity is lost or the donor can specify that the attorney can only help when mental capacity is lost. This document covers income, investment, paying bills, buying or selling of property etc.
It is suggested to have both LPA documents in place to provide full coverage of support in preparation for various circumstances. Both documents need to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian before they can be used.
As a farmer it is important to plan of times of vulnerability, making a document should be considered for personal finances and a separate document for the management of the business.
Question: How would your business function, without someone having the legal authority to act on your behalf? Nobody has a legal right to automatically act on behalf of another, including next of kin.
To find out more about lasting power of attorney and why it is so important, click here.
LPA documents can be accessed and downloaded from The Office of the Public Guardian.
There is a registration fee payable to The Office of the Public Guardian of £82.00 per document. It is possible to apply for a remission or exemption of this fee if you are on a low income or certain benefits.
Additional fees may apply if you instruct a third party to prepare the documents for you.
Guidelines to filling out the document can be found online, please read the guidance in detail. Once completed the document needs to be submitted to the Office of Public Guardian for registration
If you need further advice or help, contact the Office of the Public Guardian:
- Telephone: 0300 456 0300
- Text: 0115 934 2778
- Monday, Tuesday, Thursday, Friday, 9am to 5pm
- Wednesday, 10am to 5pm