How long does it take to get an Lasting Power of Attorney?

A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legal document which allows you (the Donor) to appoint someone you trust (your Attorney) to handle your health and welfare. As well as your finances and property, should the time come when you are unable to do this for yourself.

You may lose mental capacity due to age, illness or disability. Having an LPA in place ensures that your needs will be taken care of in your best interest. 

Should you wish for your Attorney to handle your health and welfare needs. As well as your finances you will need to have two separate LPA’s.

You can choose to have the same Attorney(s) for both or you are able to choose different people to look after different aspects. 

There is a fee of £82 for this although you may be able to get a 50% discount if your gross annual income is below £12,000. If you are in receipt of certain means tested benefits. You may be entitled to an exemption from this fee. 

What is mental capacity? 

Mental capacity is the ability to make and communicate your decisions. You must be able to understand the decisions you are making and any consequences that these would have.

Not being able to communicate does not automatically mean that you lack mental capacity.

Your lasting power of attorney should be made whilst you have mental capacity. So that you fully understand what you are agreeing to. 

The process of setting up your LPA?

To create your LPA there are several forms that need to be completed and signed in a certain order. You are able to obtain these forms yourself from the Office of the Public Guardian.

Although you do not technically need a Solicitor to make your LPA. It can be worthwhile using one as they will be able to ensure that no mistakes are made which could increase the lead time. 

When making your LPA you will need to choose your Attorney(s), you will also need a Certificate Provider and a witness.

Although you do not all need to be in the room at the same time. It can speed the process up if you can arrange a time where you can all meet and complete the relevant paperwork. 

  • You as the Donor must sign first. If you are creating a Health and Welfare LPA you must sign section 5, life sustaining treatment, first. You would then need to sign section 9 next. This is you forming an agreement with your Attorney(s). 
  • Your witness must sign next to confirm that they have seen you sign. If you are unable to sign, you must make a mark. If this is not possible then someone can sign on your behalf. Although you must be present and this must be witnessed by two people who are not your Attorney(s). Your witness must be over the age of eighteen years old. This can be a family member or friend. As long as they are not listed as one of your Attorneys. 
  • Your certificate provider must then sign section 10. They will be confirming that you have full mental capacity and understand all of the decisions you have made. They will also confirm that you have not been pressured into any of these decisions. 
  • Your certificate provider must be over the age of 18. 
  • They can be professionals such as a Doctor, Solicitor or Social worker. 

Or

  • Someone you have known for over two years but is not a family member of yourself or your Attorney(s). 
  • They cannot be a business partner or employee of yourself or your Attorney(s) 
  • They cannot be the owner or employee of a care home where you or a member of your family resides. 

Your Attorney(s) will then sign last. This is them forming an agreement with yourself. This will also need to be witnessed. Attorney(s) can witness each other, but they are unable to act as your witness. 

Registering your LPA

Once you have completed your LPA. The documents then needs to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. It is not legal and cannot be used until this registration is completed. Which normally takes around 9-10 weeks, if there are no errors in your application.

There is a fee of £82 for this although you may be able to get a 50% discount if your gross annual income is below £12,000. If you are in receipt of certain means tested benefits. You may be entitled to an exemption from this fee. 

You are able to register this for yourself or your Solicitor can do this for you. However, you will also need to send a “Form to notify people LP3” to anyone that needs to be aware of your LPA being in place. This could be family members and close friends who then have three weeks to raise any objections. 

If there are any mistakes then the OPG may allow you to correct them and apply again with a further cost of £41 although this is at their discretion. Once your LPA has been registered a copy will be sent back to you for your safekeeping. 

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