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Despite it being a fairly demanding process, a Power of Attorney (POA) can be completed in a relatively short time. Paper applications can be made and it is possible to do everything on-line - the relevant forms can be found on the gov.uk website.
The process can still be a complicated one and it’s important not to make any mistakes on the forms, so it is always best to get professional legal advice no matter how you make the application.
Typically, it takes up to 10 weeks to register an LPA if there are no mistakes in the application. Although not required with an LPA, some donors still choose ‘people to notify’ as concerned parties. They’ll have three weeks to raise any concerns with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) but even if this is not done, the OPG still has a ‘waiting period’ during which objections can be raised before the LPA is finally registered.
The procedure is slightly different in Scotland and Power of Attorney applications north of the border should be processed within 30 working days of receiving the document. Electronic submissions can be processed more quickly than those sent by post.
In either jurisdiction, once a POA is drafted and registered, it will last indefinitely unless you decide to terminate it and it ceases to have effect on death. In that case, the stipulations you have made in your will take precedence.
You may wish to dispute a Power of Attorney (POA) if you consider that it was granted to the wrong person or believe the donor did not have the necessary capacity for the role. You may also have concerns that an attorney’s actions are not in the donor’s best interests.
Although not required when registering a Lasting Power of Attorney, certain individuals must be notified and given the chance to object before an Enduring Power of Attorney (i.e. made before 30 September 2007) is registered. The mental capacity of the individual donor (the person making the POA) also has to be independently confirmed. A Power of Attorney signed as a result of fraud or undue influence is void.
The two types of LPA - Property and Financial Affairs and Health and Welfare - can only be used once registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. An LPA for Property and Financial Affairs does not entitle the attorney to make decisions concerning the donor’s health and welfare and similarly a Health and Welfare LPA does not confer any power over the donor’s finances.
An attorney has to act in the best interests of the donor and in line with the principles of the Mental Capacity Act 2005. If they fail to do so, their role can be challenged. We can provide specialist help and advice before you take any action, as liaising with the Court of Protection is a complex and lengthy process, especially if you are involved in a dispute.
Many of us worry about how we'll cope in old age or when we lose the capacity to look after our own affairs. A Lasting Power of Attorney can be put in place to answer those concerns and act as a reassurance that your best interests will still be looked after. It can be put in place at any time so that when you need it, you can get help immediately. We know from our own experience in dealing with thousands of clients that putting in place powers of attorney is one of the most important things they feel they've ever done.
You can make one form of lasting power of attorney without making the other. There's no requirement to do both, but a lasting power of attorney must be registered, either by the donor or the attorney, before it can be used.
There are lots of things you need to think about when considering powers of attorney and appointing an attorney, not least whether you believe the person to be trustworthy and to have your best interests at heart. Our experts will take the time to explain your options..
Arranging a lasting power of attorney helps to plan what happens to you and your finances in accordance with your wishes while you're alive, but it's also important to ensure your wishes are carried out on your death. The best way to make sure this happens is to make a will. At Access Legal we can arrange for a will at the same time as helping you with your LPA.
Sarah, do we have a quote from a satisfied Power of Attorney client that we can use? Please provide who the quote is from too. Thanks!
Access Legal has a proven professional approach and valued service, tempered with understanding and compassion, plus a dedicated elderly and vulnerable client team who are members of Solicitors for the Elderly.Why Access Legal