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Revealed: Why appointing a Lasting Power of Attorney is easier than ever

Category: Blog
A man signing a legal document in the presence of another man

The number of Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) registrations has increased rapidly over the last few years. According to the government, around 5 million are currently in place. And yet, LPA applications dropped by more than a quarter (26%) during the pandemic.

Acknowledging outdated “paper-based features that are over 30 years old”, the Ministry of Justice and the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) launched a 12-week consultation in July 2021 to speed up registrations. They hoped to simplify the process by making it largely digital, while further empowering the OPG to prevent fraud.

An LPA allows you to appoint someone you trust to make important decisions on your behalf if you are no longer able to. Keep reading to find out why you need an LPA in place now, and why the process is simpler than ever before.

Covid backlogs forced a change in the LPA registration process

The coronavirus pandemic – and the nationwide lockdowns that resulted – caused problems for those looking to register an LPA.

The need to fill out and mail paper forms, staff shortages at the OPG, and a post-lockdown influx in registrations combined to decrease LPA registrations during 2020/21 by 26% compared to the previous year.

As the OPG battled delays and fluctuating demand during the pandemic, it began to move parts of the registration process online.

It is now possible to make and pay for an LPA using the internet, while the OPG has also launched a digital service called “Use a Lasting Power of Attorney”. This service allows your attorney to securely share details with relevant organisations online, speeding up the process of acting on your behalf.

3 powerful reasons to put an LPA in place now

1. An LPA gives you back control

An LPA allows you to appoint an attorney to make important decisions on your behalf if you are no longer able to. Whether you lose capacity through accident or illness – and whether the effects are temporary or likely to be permanent – appointing an LPA puts you in control of the decisions that are made.

There are two types:

  • A Health and Welfare LPA covers your daily routine, such as washing and dressing, medical care, and moving into a care home. It kicks in as soon as you become unable to make your own decisions.
  • A Property and Financial Affairs LPA covers things like your bank or building society accounts, paying bills, or selling your home. This LPA can come into force as soon it is registered, with your permission.

You can decide the type of LPA you want, name your attorneys, and stipulate limits to the types of decisions they can make. For example, a Property and Financial Affairs attorney might be authorised to collect benefits on your behalf, but not be involved in the sale of your house.

Equally, your chosen Health and Welfare attorney might have the authority to look after your medical care without the authority to make end-of-life decisions.

If the worst should happen and you can’t make important decisions for yourself, knowing that someone you trust is in place to look after your interests gives you back control.

2. Decisions can be made quickly on your behalf without unnecessary delays or additional costs

The unexpected can strike at any moment. If you lose mental capacity without an LPA in place your loved ones will need to undertake a costly and time-consuming process with the Court of Protection to appoint a deputy. This costs around £365 and additional charges might also apply.

Registering an LPA costs just £82. You can choose a person – or people – you trust to look after specific elements of your wellbeing, within parameters you set.

Your attorneys will be able to act immediately, which means there will be no delays to decision-making, whether that’s releasing money or organising care.

Having an LPA in place protects you against the unexpected and also shields your loved ones from additional stress and worry at an already difficult time.

3. You’ll have peace of mind

Arguably, the most important reason to put an LPA in place is for your peace of mind. While you can’t anticipate when the unexpected will strike, you can prepare for it.

Knowing that people you trust will be able to make speedy decisions on your behalf if you are no longer able – and that your loved ones will be saved additional stress and worry – means that you have the confidence and peace of mind to concentrate on the present.

Get in touch

Protecting yourself against the unexpected is a crucial part of any long-term financial plan. Losing the capacity to make your own decisions isn’t an easy thing to think about, but Hartsfield is on hand to help.

If you would like to discuss the benefits of an LPA or any aspect of your long-term financial plans, please get in touch and find out how our team of expert planners can help.

Please note

This article is for information only. Please do not act based on anything you might read in this article. All contents are based on our understanding of HMRC legislation, which is subject to change.

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