A power of attorney is a legal document that lets an individual (called a donor) appoint another person or persons (attorney/s) the donor trusts to make (or help make) important decisions on the donor’s behalf. The attorney/s is/are always under an obligation to act in the best interests of the donor.

It is currently possible to make 2 different types of power of attorney. These are:

  1. An Ordinary power of Attorney
  2. A Lasting Power of Attorney

An Ordinary Power of Attorney is usually used if the donor wishes the attorney to look after his/her financial affairs for a temporary period if s/he has a physical illness or is abroad.

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is instead normally used if the donor wishes to appoint some to look after their affairs for a longer period of time. An LPA is also different to an ordinary power of attorney in than with an LPA an attorney can be appointed to not only make decisions for the donor about property and finances issues but also with health and welfare matters, and when the donor loses mental capacity. The reason it is so important to have a LPA in place in the event that a donor loses mental capacity is that decisions on behalf of the donor can then be made seamlessly without having to make a costly, cumbersome and, if there is a dispute, often complicated application for permission to act on behalf of an incapacitated person from the Court of Protection.

The kinds of illnesses which may prevent you from making decisions include:

  • dementia
  • mental health problems
  • brain injury
  • alcohol or drug misuse
  • the side-effects of medical treatment

The property and finances LPA can be used to give the attorney power to act to act on the donor’s behalf with regard to matters such as:

  • managing bank accounts, savings and/or investments
  • paying bills
  • dealing with tax affairs
  • buying and/or selling a property
  • claiming and spending welfare benefits
  • dealing with / paying debts

The health and welfare LPA can be used to give the attorney power to make decisions in relation to matters such as:

  • medical care including with regard to life-sustaining treatment
  • day to day care, including with regard to what to eat and what to wear
  • living arrangements for example moving into a care home
  • contact, if any, with certain other people

The powers provided to the attorney or attorneys under an LPA can also be limited and this firm can be called upon to deal with this aspect.

An LPA can be used before the donor loses mental capacity or specify that it can only come into effect once the donor loses capacity.

The Office of the Public Guardian deals with the registration of any LPA. The registration fee is currently £82 per form.

This firm charges on a time spent basis (at the relevant fee earner’s hourly rate). This firm’s typical fee for preparing and registering a straightforward Lasting Power of Attorney is £300 plus VAT plus the above registration fee. This firm’s fee for preparing and registering an Ordinary Power of Attorney will vary according to the circumstances. If you require a quote, please feel free to contact this firm (as per the below).

For further information/ assistance please call this firm at your convenience on 0208 655 8482, send an email to info@formanlaw.co.uk or use this firm’s “Quick Contact” form below.