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Powers of Attorney

Giving you control over your future

A Lasting Power of Attorney is a versatile and useful document. It exists to enable you to appoint a person or a number of people (your attorneys) to act on your behalf, if you should lose your mental capacity – that is the mental capacity to manage your own affairs.

Which LPA is suitable for me?

Our solicitors will discuss with you your needs and options to enable you to choose which LPA(s) best suit your requirements.

There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney:

  • Property and Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney – the most common, this enables your attorney or attorneys to do things on your behalf like pay bills; set up standing orders or direct debits; pay care fees; sell property and withdraw money from your bank account. They would also be able to handle your investments for you.
  • Health and Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney – this enables your attorney to decide where you live, the type and location of care you receive and whether to continue with or discontinue life-sustaining treatment.

How do I make an LPA?

You will need to choose your attorney(s). You can choose more than one attorney. You cannot choose someone subject to a debt relief order or is bankrupt for a Property and Financial Affairs LPA.

If you choose more than one attorney you will need to decide whether they are to act jointly (they should all agree on the decision) and/or severally (the attorneys can make decisions on their own or with the other attorneys)

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Who can be my Attorney(s)?

Your attorney can be your spouse, partner, relative(s), friend(s) or professional(s) and should be 18 years or over and have the mental capacity to make their own decisions.

When choosing an attorney think about:

  • How well they look after their own affairs
  • How happy they will be to make decisions for you
  • How well you know them
  • If you trust them to make decisions in your best interests

You cannot choose someone subject to a debt relief order or is bankrupt for a Property and Financial LPA (but can for a Health and Welfare LPA). If you are making both types of LPAs, you can appoint the same attorney(s) for both LPAs.

Replacement Attorney(s)

When you make your LPA you can nominate other people to replace your attorney(s) if at some point they cannot act on your behalf. .

Persons to be notified

You can nominate an independent third party(ies) to be informed that you are making an LPA. This can give you some confidence in knowing that there is some measure of accountability for your chosen attorney.

Certificate Provider

You will need to select a “certificate provider” who can sign the LPA to confirm you understand what you are doing and entering into the LPA of your own free will, with a good comprehension of the implications and consequences of doing so. The certificate provider can be a legal advisor, medical practitioner or other close friend.

When & how can my Attorney use the LPA?

An LPA cannot be used by your attorney(s) until it has been registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. Our advice is to register the document once it has been prepared and signed. You can include guidance and restrictions within your LPA. For example, you could include a restriction that your LPA is not to be used until a medical practitioner has certified you are no longer able to manage your affairs.

Can I revoke (end) my LPA?

You can end your LPA provided you still have mental capacity, even if it has been registered If your attorneys are acting for you whilst you have capacity, but you are concerned as to their actions you can revoke your LPA.

Being prepared

Some people feel like there is an implicit admission of some loss of capacity in making or even discussing a Lasting Power of Attorney.

This is not the case. It simply means that you are planning for the future and putting someone you trust in a position to manage your affairs should you, one day, be unable to manage them yourself. In fact, you cannot make a Lasting Power of Attorney if you lack capacity.

You can include guidance and limitations within your Lasting Power of Attorney; for example, restricting its use until a medical professional has certified that you are no longer able to manage your affairs. This can give you reassurance that personal decisions will not be prematurely taken out of your hands.

If you do not have a Lasting Power of Attorney in place and you lose your capacity, your financial affairs can still be managed for you by someone making a Deputyship application on your behalf.

However, this can be an expensive and time-consuming process and does not guarantee that your affairs will be managed in the way you might have intended.

Why you should consider creating a Will

Although a Lasting Power of Attorney will give you the opportunity to place someone in charge of your daily life decisions, should you reach a stage of no capacity, a Will can ensure the protection and proper distribution of important assets you wish to gift, donate or pass on when you die.

If you would like to learn more about creating your Will and why it is important to have one, no matter your age, income or the value of your estate, please read more about our Will writing services or contact our expert Will Writing Solicitors for a free initial 15 minute telephone appointment.

Window Witnessing Your Will

In these very unpredictable times, it seems more important than ever to have a valid Will in place.

Other than a few specific scenarios, a valid Will requires the Will-maker to sign the Will in front of two adult non-family witnesses.

Given the need for social distancing, self-isolation and the possibility that the Coronavirus may be able to survive on paper for up to 12 hours (meaning it could be transferred person to person just by handling a Will) - you can imagine that witnessing a Will is quite a challenge at the moment.

Our expert Estate Planning and Wealth Management lawyers saw this problem as an opportunity to flex their creative problem-solving muscles. The result: "Window Witnessing your Will".

1/3 off LPA for all NHS Staff

NHS Logo Small (thumb)As our way of saying 'Thank You' to our fantastic NHS heroes, we are delighted to launch a new scheme offering 1/3 off Lasting Power of Attorney in recognition of the vital contribution they have made to our communities during the COVID-19 pandemic.

A team you can trust

We offer a free initial 15 minute telephone appointment to give you the opportunity to speak to us about a Lasting Power of Attorney, before deciding if you wish to proceed in instructing us to act on your behalf.

Please contact K J Smith Solicitors on 01491 630000 (Henley on Thames), 0118 418 1000 (Reading Head Office), 0118 418 1200 (Reading Central), 01256 584000 (Basingstoke), 01483 370100 (Guildford), 01494 629000 (Beaconsfield), 01344 513000 (Ascot), 01635 785 100 (Newbury), 01962 587900 (Winchester), 0204 599 7400 (Richmond) or email info@kjsmith.co.uk.

We also serve a wide range of other areas including Abingdon, Bracknell, Gerrards Cross, Maidenhead, Marlow, Oxford, Slough, Wokingham, Pangbourne, and High Wycombe.

Our Office Locations

All our offices are easily accessible by road, rail or bus and we are open Monday to Friday from 8:30am to 6:00pm. With today's busy schedules, we offer telephone appointments outside normal office hours until 9pm on Thursdays and between 10am and 3pm on Saturdays.

Not sure which office is closest to you? Try our Office Finder.

If you would like to visit our team of family solicitors, we have offices in Henley-on-Thames, Woodley, Reading (Head Office), Reading (Central), Basingstoke, Guildford, Beaconsfield, Ascot, Newbury & Winchester. We serve a wide range of other areas including Abingdon, Bracknell, Gerrards Cross, Maidenhead, Marlow, Oxford, Slough, High Wycombe and Wokingham.

Why not contact our team of divorce solicitors for a free initial consultation today? We offer a free initial consultation that can take place in any one of our offices or over the telephone.

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To find out how we can help you, please contact us for a free initial consultation. Call or email, we will be happy to speak to you about your options and how we can help.