How to set up a lasting power of attorney

You can download LPA forms from Gov.uk if you live in England or Wales. There’s a different process in Scotland and Northern Ireland.

All forms will need to be signed and witnessed by your attorneys and witnesses in a strict order before you submit them.

The donor must sign first, followed by the certificate provider, the attorney(s), the replacement attorney(s) and lastly the person registering the application which could be the donor or the attorney.

The ‘certificate provider’ is usually either a solicitor or a person who has known you for more than two years and can confirm that you understand what you’re doing. The names, addresses and dates of birth of the attorneys and donor must all be included in full.

The person who witnesses your signature must be over the age of 18 and cannot be one of your attorneys or replacement attorneys. Your certificate provider can act as your witness if necessary.

Your witness can be anyone over 18 who is not an attorney or replacement attorney, so could be a neighbour or friend who lives nearby. The attorney’s witness can be anyone over 18 but must not be the donor.

Once your application is completed, you’ll need to register it with the Office for the Public Guardian (OPG). You can find their contact details here. An LPA must be registered before it can be used and registration usually takes an average of 8 to 10 weeks, provided there are no objections or mistakes on the forms. It is therefore advisable to register your LPA before it is needed so that it is ready to be used immediately.

Bear in mind that even if you make and register a LPA, that does not mean you are automatically handing over control of your financial affairs. A property and financial affairs LPA can be used at any time once it has been registered (even whilst the donor still has capacity), but only with the consent of the donor, whereas a health and welfare LPA can only be used when the donor has lost capacity (even when it has been registered).

In addition, provided you still have the mental capacity to do so, you can cancel an LPA at any time, by drawing up a written statement entitled a ‘deed of revocation’.

To find out more about setting up and registering an LPA, and for details regarding how they differ in Northern Ireland and Scotland, visit Gov.uk’s Lasting Power of Attorney service.

Author: wpadmin

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