Setting up a lasting power of attorney, or LPA, is a very wise precaution to take. In simple terms, setting this up allows you to pass control of your affairs to a chosen person – such as a spouse, child, family member or close friend – in the event that you become seriously ill or are involved in an accident that damages your mental faculties.
In England and Wales there are two separate types of LPA: a Property and Financial Affairs LPA and a Health and Welfare LPA. The first one allows the person you choose – your “attorney” – to make decisions on your behalf regarding your money, bank accounts, investments, property and so on. The second allows them to make decisions about your health, including what type of treatment you receive and potentially decisions about end-of-life care.
These are two separate documents, and you can choose to have either or both. In England and Wales, the two LPAs have replaced the single Enduring Power of Attorney (EPA). However, EPAs that were made and signed before 1 October 2007 can still be used.
In Scotland these types of contract are respectively referred to as “Continuing Power of Attorney” and a “Welfare Power of Attorney”. In Northern Ireland there is just one type of LPA known as an “Enduring Power of Attorney”, and it only covers financial affairs, not healthcare.
Unless you use a solicitor, it is free to prepare an LPA, although there is a fee for registering it. However, if you think you would benefit from legal advice, or your affairs are complicated, we’ve partnered with Co-op Legal Services to offer £25 off its lasting power of attorney service, which starts at £120. To get the discount, quote RLAFF25 when you speak to them. The service includes a dedicated LPA specialist to look after you throughout the process, advice on the different types of LPA, preparation of the LPA, and sending the LPA with full instructions for signing by the donor, attorneys and certificate provider. Find out more here.
You can read more about LPAs and how to arrange one in our article How to set up a lasting power of attorney.