Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) is a way of allowing someone you trust to make big decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so. For example, if you lose mental capacity, or you’re in a coma. It is fairly straight forward, however must be done in a specific way and order otherwise they won’t be registered correctly. Some important things you must know are as follows:
Anyone over the age of 18 should have one – The elderly are not the only people at risk of losing mental capacity, but are more likely to have taken the correct precautions. It is important to appoint someone to make medical or financial decisions on your behalf if you are unable to do so.
You’ll need a witness – Any signature made on an LPA must be witnessed by someone over the age of 18 who is impartial. A good choice is your certificate provider.
What is a certificate provider?
When you’re registering you will need a declaration signing to confirm that you understand what having a Power of Attorney means, you’re not creating it under any pressure and it is not fraudulent. Whoever signs this is known as the certificate provider.
This can be someone that has known you for at least 2 years or someone with the right professional skills to assess their capacity. This could be a financial advisor, doctor, nurse, will writer or a solicitor. Friends, Colleagues or Neighbours are also good options.
People you may not use as Certificate Provider is; anyone under 18, a member of yours or the attorney’s family, a business partner or employee of you or the attorney. If you live in a care home you may NOT ask the owner, director, manager or employee of the home.
You must sign it in a specific order
Signatures must be taken in a specific order. The donor signs first, followed by the certificate provider and then the attorneys and replacement attorneys. All parties should sign on the same day to make things easier.
They can’t be changed registering
Once registered, an LPA can’t be changed. They can be changed before registering, the best way to go about this is by starting from the beginning or it may not be accepted.
Any copies need to be certified
When you need to give a copy of an LPA, it has to be certified as an EXACT copy on each page of the document. This can be certified by a solicitor or by the donor as long as they have mental capacity. You must Sign each page of the copy at the end of the page with your signature and date with the words “I certify that this is a true and complete copy of the corresponding page of the original”. On the last page, you must sign and date with the words “I certify that this is a true and complete copy of the original”
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