Frequently Asked Questions - LPA

Here you’ll find a great deal of information about Lasting Powers of Attorney and everything you need to know to go through the process of putting one together using our online service.

Have a question that isn’t answered here? Please get in touch.

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document you may choose to put in place for the future. It allows you to appoint a person or group of people to make certain decisions for you about your healthcare and finances should you no longer be able to do so.

The person who is making the LPA is called the donor. The decision makers appointed by the donor are called attorneys.

It’s important to have an LPA in place in case you become unwell in a way that means you are no longer able to make decisions for yourself (for example, if you were involved in a serious accident or developed Dementia). An LPA will mean that the people you have chosen to act for you will be able to legally make decisions about the care you receive and what to do with your finances and property.

If you don’t have an LPA, your family and loved ones (including your spouse) will not automatically have these rights. Instead, the matter may end up in court. Not only is this likely to be costly and stressful for your loved ones, it could also mean that the court appoints people you wouldn’t have chosen for yourself.

In order to make an LPA you must be at least eighteen years old, and have a general understanding of what an LPA is and what the consequences are of making one.

There are two types of LPA:

  • Health & Care: This document lets you appoint one or more people to make decisions about your medical treatment and daily care. This could include moving into a care home, your routine (for example what to eat and wear), the kind of treatment you should receive and whether or not to give or refuse consent to life sustaining treatment.
  • Financial: This document lets you appoint one or more people to make decisions about your money and property. This could include paying bills, collecting your benefits, selling your home or managing your financial accounts.

An LPA can be used as soon as it is registered by the Office of the Public Guardian. In many cases, however, it won’t be necessary for your attorneys to use the LPA for a while.

A health & care LPA will come into use should you become physically or mentally incapacitated and unable to make decisions for yourself about your health & care.

Financial LPAs are often more flexible and you can choose to give your attorneys powers at any time, either in the event of incapacity or when you ask them to. Most people add this flexibility to their LPA as it makes the document far more practical. It’s important to note that your attorneys will only be able to act with your consent for as long as you are able to give it.

When you make a health & care LPA, you will need to choose whether or not to give your attorneys the right to give or refuse consent to life sustaining treatment on your behalf.

Life sustaining treatment refers to care, surgery, medication or help from medical staff that is needed to keep you alive. This could include:

  • Resuscitation
  • Serious operations such as heart bypasses or organ transplants
  • Cancer treatment
  • Artificial nutrition or hydration (usually food or fluids given by tube)

Whether or not a treatment is considered to be life sustaining will depend on the circumstances. For example, a course of antibiotics would be life sustaining treatment if you have pneumonia.

Though it’s not always pleasant to think about, these decisions sometimes need to be made in unexpected circumstances, such as after an accident or if a routine surgery doesn’t go as planned.

This will depend on your personal circumstances and where your foreign assets are located. LPAs made in the UK will be recognised in many countries under private international law and The Hague Convention XXXV, but you’ll need specialist advice.

If you have assets overseas, our online system may not be suitable for you. Please contact us for further guidance.

Yes. Though we don’t currently offer this type of LPA on our online system, we have a great deal of expertise in advising business owners about LPAs. Please get in touch to discuss this with us further.

Our online system will take you step-by-step through the information we will need to prepare your documents. The system is straight-forward and easy to use, but you can contact us at any time during the process if you need help or guidance.

Once we have received your information, we will contact you to tell you which of our solicitors will be personally looking after your LPA.

Your documents should be ready within seven working days. We’ll then send them in the post for you, your attorneys and your certificate provider to sign. The package will include full instructions and a pre-paid return envelope.

The final steps are for us to check that the documents have been signed correctly and for us to manage the registration process. All LPAs need to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian, which takes about eight weeks.

Our online LPA service is charged at a fixed fee. For this we will write the documents, manage the registration process and provide as much support and guidance as you need by email or telephone.

  • For a individual LPA (Health) our fee is £395*
  • For a individual LPA (Care OR Finance) our fee is £395*
  • For a individual LPA (Health & Care OR Finance) our fee is £695*
  • For a couple LPA (Health) our fee is £695*
  • For a couple LPA (Care AND Finance) our fee is £695*
  • For a couple LPA (Health & Care AND Finance) our fee is £1395*

*Unlike many services, our online fees include VAT and the registration fees payable to the Office of the Public Guardian which are £89 per LPA.

To fill in our online forms, we suggest you have the following information and documents to hand:

  • Your address and contact details
  • The address, contact details and dates of birth for your proposed attorneys
  • The address and contact details for anyone else you’d like to notify about your LPAs
  • At least two ID documents (see below for the types of document we can accept for this)
  • A debit or credit card, if you’d like to pay online (available soon)

We are an authorised and regulated solicitors’ firm and the law therefore requires us to obtain certain identification documents from our clients. You can either choose to upload a scan of your documents when prompted by our online form, or you can send copies to us by email or post.

We need to see two of the following documents:

  • A valid driving licence
  • A valid passport
  • A bank statement (must be no more than three months old)
  • A utility bill (must be no more than three months old and not for a mobile phone)

Don’t worry if you aren’t sure if you have the right type of ID. Once we’ve received your information we will contact you to discuss which documents we can accept. In some cases, we may need to carry out additional electronic identification checks, but we wouldn’t do this without discussing it with you first.

We are a fully authorised solicitors’ firm and are regulated by the Solicitors’ Regulation Authority (SRA). This means that we abide by a strict code of conduct and are held accountable to this by the SRA.

Our service also differs to most other online options in that we provide as much personal assistance as you need throughout the process. You will be able to contact us via email or phone to discuss your LPA.

Roche Legal is a boutique firm. We are completely independent and are not affiliated with any large corporations. Your LPA will be dealt with by one of our solicitors.

We also offer a guarantee: in the unlikely event that your LPAs are rejected by the Office of the Public Guardian, we guarantee to cover any additional costs involved in re-registering them.

You can choose to make almost anyone your attorney, but they should be someone you trust to act in your best interests.

Legally they also have to:

  • Be at least eighteen years’ old
  • Have the mental capacity to make decisions
  • Be free of bankruptcy or debt relief orders
  • Consent to acting as your attorney

Most people choose to make their spouse and/or their adult children their attorneys. This option may not necessarily be right for you, so you should consider this very carefully. You are more than welcome to call us to discuss who might be the best choice in your individual circumstances.

You can have as many attorneys as you like, though we don’t usually advise having more than four because it can be impractical.

Most people choose between one and three attorneys, but this will depend on your own individual circumstances.

So long as they are over the age of eighteen, it’s completely up to you. A lot of people do choose their children to fill this role as they are confident their children will act in their best interests.

Depending on how many children you have and your relationship with them, you may need to decide whether to appoint all of them or just one or two. From a legal standpoint you don’t need to appoint all of your children, but you may find that any who are left out feel disgruntled.

The most important factor to consider is whether the attorneys you choose will be capable of carrying out your wishes by working together as a team.

If you decide to leave one or more children out, you may wish to name them as a person to notify (see below).

If you appoint more than one attorney, you’ll need to decide whether you want them to act ‘jointly’ or ‘jointly and severally’.

  • Jointly and severally (recommended): This tends to be the most common type of appointment as it’s the most practical. With this option, attorneys will be able to make decisions on their own or together. This means that attorneys can use their judgement on whether to make decisions on their own or as a group, and they won’t all have to get together to make simple or urgent decisions. This also means that if one of your attorneys dies or is otherwise unable to act, your LPA will still stand as the other attorneys will be able to make decisions without them.
  • Jointly (not recommended): In this type of appointment your attorneys will need to agree unanimously on every decision, no matter how small. This means there could be delays if your attorneys are unable to get together easily. It can also lead to added complications as your attorneys could have to go to court if they can’t reach a unanimous decision. It’s important to understand that a group of attorneys who are appointed ‘jointly’ are considered as a single unit under the law. This means that if one attorney dies or is otherwise unable to act, your LPA will be void unless you have appointed a replacement attorney (see below).
  • Jointly for some decisions, jointly and severally for others (not recommended): Though it is possible to write an LPA that gives attorneys the right to make some decisions jointly and severally and some jointly, this can be complicated. The wording used will be very important and you will need to list the exact decisions that fall into each category. If one of your attorneys dies or is otherwise unable to act, your remaining attorneys will lose the right to make any decisions that have to be made jointly. If you haven’t appointed a replacement attorney, your LPA will no longer be valid for any decisions that have to be made jointly.

You can choose to appoint replacement attorneys. These individuals will be able to step in should one or more of your original attorneys become unable to act for you. This could be because they have died or are unwell, because they have been declared bankrupt, or because the relationship has been legally dissolved (if they were your spouse or civil partner).

Appointing replacement attorneys in your LPA means that the document would still be valid should circumstances change, although in many cases a replacement attorney isn’t necessary.

The Mental Capacity Act 2005 sets out rules about how attorneys must behave. They will need to:

  • Assume you can make your own decisions, unless it is legally established that you can’t
  • Do as much as possible to help you make as many of your own decisions as you can
  • Avoid treating you as if you are unable to make decisions simply because you have made an unwise one
  • Act and make decisions in your best interests
  • Make decisions that are the least restrictive of your rights and freedoms as possible.

Most people specifically choose attorneys they believe will work well together in order to avoid this. Disputes therefore happen rarely. In the unlikely event of a disagreement, we can help to resolve it as your solicitor. In more severe cases, the matter may end up being taken to the Court of Protection, where a judge would intervene to decide what is best.

There’s no legal reason why you can’t, but you may wish to consider how effectively the individual will be able to act for you, especially if they are your only attorney. That said, the internet has made it much easier for an attorney to act from abroad.

When you make an LPA, your attorneys and certificate provider will need to consent to signing the document. As of July 2015, it is no longer necessary for you to tell anyone else that you have made it.

If you do choose to formally notify anyone, such as other family members, they will have the right to object to the registration of your LPA. They will only be able to do this if:

  • They believe fraud is involved
  • They believe you may have been pressured into making the LPA or do not understand it
  • They believe an attorney is acting above their authority, or in any way other than in your best interests.

If anyone you have notified wishes to object, they have twenty-one days to do so.

If you do decide to formally notify anyone, choose someone whose opinion you trust and who would be willing to speak up should they have any concerns.

Mental capacity is a legal term that refers to whether or not an individual is psychologically capable of making an important legal document. In order for you to make an LPA, you must:

  • Understand what an LPA is and how it can be used
  • Understand what types of decisions your attorneys will be able to make for you
  • Not have any type of disorder that would prevent you from making decisions in your own best interests.

It is important for you to confirm to us that you have the mental capacity to make an LPA as your decisions must reflect what you really want. However, it is your certificate provider who will legally attest to this (see below).

A condition such as Alzheimer’s, Dementia or a mental illness doesn’t mean you won’t be able to make an LPA. However, you will need to tell us about it.

If you have a mental health related condition, we’ll be able to advise you on how to ensure your LPA is legally valid and can’t be challenged in the future. This is likely to include asking your doctor to act as a certificate provider, or obtaining their medical opinion, to confirm that at the time of making the LPA you were mentally fit to do so.

If you or your loved one do not have sufficient mental capacity to make an LPA, it may be necessary to apply to the Court of Protection for assistance. The Court of Protection will be able to appoint someone to act on your behalf in place of an attorney. A person appointed by the court is called a deputy.

We have a great deal of expertise in working with the Court of Protection and will be able to help you if you find yourself in this position. Please contact us for further advice.

When you make an LPA, you must appoint a certificate provider. This person will need to sign the document to confirm that they’ve discussed the LPA with you, that you understand what you’re doing, and that no one is forcing you to do it.

Your certificate provider must be either:

  1. Someone who has known you personally for at least two years. This could be a friend, neighbour, colleague or former colleague.
  2. Someone with relevant professional skills such as your GP, a healthcare professional or a solicitor.

You can’t appoint the same person to be an attorney and a certificate provider, and you can’t ask a member of your family to do it. We are happy to act as your certificate provider, but we will need to meet with you in person to do so, and additional charges will apply.

We recommend that all LPAs are registered with the Office of the Public Guardian straight away so that the documents can be easily actioned in the future, if and when they are required.

The Office of the Public Guardian charges a registration fee. This fee is currently £89 per LPA. If you choose to make both types of LPA there is a fee to register each one. Unlike many other services, these registration fees are covered in our charges.

The registration process takes up to eight weeks from when we receive your returned signed documents.

The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) is an agency of the Ministry of Justice and was established in October 2007. It is responsible for the registration of LPAs.

The Court of Protection is an office of the High Court. It has the legal power to make decisions about the finances and healthcare needs of adults (and, occasionally, children) who don’t have the capacity to make their own decisions.

The Court of Protection generally only get involved when someone hasn’t made an LPA, or, in rare cases, when there is a serious disagreement among attorneys.

You can cancel your LPA at any time, before or after registration, so long as you have the mental capacity to do so.

You can’t change an LPA once it has been registered. If at a later date you are unhappy with anything in your LPA, you will be able to cancel it and make a new one.

Yes, of course. Our office is based in Nether Poppleton, York, and we would love to meet you. We also offer home visits locally to clients who are unable to come to us.

Please note that different fees apply if you choose to meet with us in person rather than use our online system. Please contact us for more information.

If after reading the FAQs you still have a question, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. We will be happy to answer any queries, or to discuss your personal circumstances and concerns.

You can reach us on 01904 866 139, or on hello@rochelegal-online.co.uk

Get started making your Lasting Power of Attorney

A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a document that allows you to nominate a person or group of people to make decisions on your behalf should you no longer be able to do so. This is an extremely useful precaution to have in place should you be unwell after a sudden illness or accident, or if you were to be diagnosed with Dementia or Alzheimer’s Disease. An LPA should be put in place long before you expect to need it.

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