Frequently Asked Questions
The simple answer is before it’s too late. Dementia, coma and strokes are the most common reasons why people lose the capacity to make decisions for themselves. Once capacity has been lost, you are no longer allowed to appoint an attorney. This could leave you with no one able to pay your bills, check your income and make crucial decisions about your care and medical treatment. Ultimately, the Court of Protection has to appoint a Deputy instead. In the short term this is usually your Local Authority. Getting a relative appointed as a Deputy after this takes months and costs thousands of pounds, much more hassle and expense than having an LPA already in place.
There is a Financial Decisions LPA and a Health and Care LPA. The reason for there being two for these separate areas is that whilst most people choose the same Attorneys for both, you do have the option to choose different people if you wish.
1) Home Visit: We will come to your home, discuss what you want in your LPA, along with your attorneys if you wish and fill in all the forms for you. We can also usually act as the Certificate Provider for you and witness the signatures on the documents. Once the documents are complete we then arrange for their registration with the Office of the Public Guardian.
2) Telephone Service: If you’re happy to discuss your LPA and give us the information over the telephone, we can take your instructions and create the documents. We then post them to you with a detailed guide to assist with getting them signed correctly, prior to their registration.
3) Hybrid Service: A combination of the above where we gather the information we need to draft the documents over the phone, then we come to your home and take you through the signature process. This is an economical option that spares you from having to deal with some quite lengthy documents on your own, and we can usually act as your Certificate Provider and witness. We also manage the registration process with the Office of the Public Guardian.
This is the person that the LPA is created to protect. The Donor needs to be over 18 years old and have the mental capacity to decide on the LPA.
This is the person or persons the Donor appoints to make their decisions for them. Attorney(s) are usually family members or close friends who know you well, that you have found to be trustworthy and reliable. You can also use a professional Attorney such as a solicitor or accountant. A professional will usually charge a fee for acting as an Attorney.
This is an impartial person who is over 18 years old whose function is to confirm that you understand what the LPA is for and that you are making it voluntarily, without any pressure from someone else.
An independent person who is over 18 years old and not one of your Attorneys who has seen you sign the documents.
In addition, you can have:
This is a person or persons who can step in if one or more of your original Attorneys can no longer act for you.
Person to Notify:
A person or persons who are there as a safeguard and will be told when your LPA is about to be registered, if not done so immediately. They should be willing to raise concerns if they think that there was any pressure or fraud involved in making your LPA.
- Follow any instructions the donor included in the LPA
- Consider any preferences the donor included in the LPA
- Help the donor make their own decisions as much as they can
- Make any decisions in the donor’s best interests
- Respect their human and civil rights
In order to decide what is in the Donor’s best interests the Attorney should:
- Look at all relevant factors, including what that the donor would consider if they were making the decision for themselves.
- Allow and encourage the donor to take part in the decision.
- Think about whether mental capacity could be regained in the future and if so could the decision be delayed if it is not urgent.
- Take into account the donor’s past and present wishes, feelings, beliefs and values.
- Consider the views of people who are close to the donor (e.g. family members, friends, carers).
- Avoid discrimination and do not make assumptions about the donor’s best interests simply on the basis of their age, appearance, condition or behaviour.
If a decision is too difficult, then Attorneys should seek advice from a relevant organisation such as the OPG, local social services, or a related charity.
Many people, who contact us do so due to concerns about a family member. Discussing the possibility of losing capacity with them can be hard, but the following suggestions may help:
- Don’t take them by surprise. Let them know in advance what you want to discuss.
- Choose a time and place where you won’t be disturbed or rushed.
- Don’t feel you have to cover everything in one conversation. There are bound to be issues to think about and go back to later.
- Perhaps jot down the main issues to make sure you discuss everything you want to.
- Don’t be surprised if any of you get emotional. Be honest and talk about all your feelings, not just the positive ones.
People can be reluctant to have these conversations – perhaps they don’t want to think about such matters, and they’re worried about saying the wrong things. It might reassure them to say that it would help you to talk. Remember there is no right or wrong way to start these conversations. Choose what’s right for you and your family.
Not necessarily, but you need to act without delay. Dementia is a progressive condition so in the earlier stage’s capacity is unlikely to have been lost. The Mental Capacity Act 2005 defines capacity as the ability to:
- Understand the information that is relevant to the decision they want to make.
- Retain the information long enough to be able to make the decision.
- Weigh up the information available to make the decision.
- Communicate their decision by any possible means, including talking, using sign language, or through simple muscle movements such as blinking an eye or squeezing a hand.
LPA Now Service
* Mirror LPA – When a couple are seen at the same time and their needs are broadly the same.
Prices include VAT
In addition, there is a fee of £82 to register each LPA charged by the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG).
If a donor is in receipt of certain means tested benefits, or has an income of less than £12,000 per annum, they may be entitled to an exemption or remission of the registration fee. Please call us on 0800 170 1234 for more details.
LPA Now is part of Beechwood Solutions Ltd which has provided solicitors with a nationwide legal document signing service since 2004. As much as they appreciate the work we do, the fact is that the solicitors regard us as an overhead, which means that we must deliver a first-class service, whilst keeping our costs to an absolute minimum. We achieve this by having good people, using the right technology. It also does no harm that we are based in Cumbria.
We bring the benefit of these economies to you with our LPA service, as we believe that no one should be put off from getting an LPA because of the cost. If our competitive pricing makes you think that you won’t get the best service possible, why not talk to us first and judge for yourself before deciding to go elsewhere and spend more?