There are four main decisions that need to be made when preparing a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA);
Who do you want to act for you when you are unable to make decisions for yourself? Anybody over the age of 18 can be appointed but this should be a person you trust.
2) Replacement Attorneys
This a person that steps in as a substitute in the event the person you chose as Attorney can no longer act for you, for example if your Attorney dies before you.
3) Certificate Provider
A Certificate Provider signs your LPA to confirm that you understand the implications of making a LPA and that no-one has forced you to make a LPA against your will. A Certificate Provider must be somebody that has known you for two years or longer. However, a person with relevant professional skills such as a Solicitor or doctor can also act as a Certificate Provider.
4) People to Notify
You need to let somebody know that you are registering a Lasting Power of Attorney. This can be anybody over the age of 18 but cannot be somebody already named in the LPA.
Appointment or LPA Questionnaire
The next stage is to complete a questionnaire or meet your Solicitor to discuss your LPA. Meeting your Solicitor is usually the best course of action as it allows you to discuss the finer details such as the differences between appointing your Attorneys ‘jointly’ or ‘jointly and severally’.
Once you have given your instructions to your Solicitor, your LPA will be prepared. This can take up to 7 working days to be completed.
Signing of LPA forms
The LPA forms must be signed in a specific order otherwise they are invalid and cannot be used. You (the Donor) will sign the LPA first, followed by your Certificate Provider. The Attorneys and Replacement Attorneys then sign to say they agree to act as your Attorneys. The Attorneys and Replacement Attorneys can sign on different days and do not need to be present at the same time.
Once the LPA has been signed, it will need to be submitted to the Office of the Public Guardian for registration. It cannot be used until it has been registered.
The person you choose to be notified will be contacted and given four weeks to object to the registration. If they do not object, the LPA will be registered and returned to your Solicitor. The registration process time varies but usually takes around 8 to 9 weeks for the Office of the Public Guardian to complete the process.
Following registration, your Solicitor will ask if you would like certified copies of your LPA. A certified copy is a photocopy that has been signed on every page by a Solicitor to confirm that it is a genuine copy.
You only need certified copies if your attorneys want to use the LPA and wish to register it with organisations such as your bank. If you do not require any certified copies, your solicitor will store your LPA until such time that it needs to be used.