Attwoods can assist with a wide range of personal taxation issues. Here is information on lasting powers of attorney.
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document which someone (the Donor) makes, giving someone they trust (the Attorney) the power to make decisions on behalf of the Donor at sometime in the future if he/she lacks the mental capacity or no longer wish to make those decisions him/herself.
The Donor must be aged 18 or over with the capacity to make an LPA. Any named individual with mental capacity aged 18 or over can be an Attorney as long as the relevant details are correctly written on the LPA Form.
Please note there is a different process in Scotland and Northern Ireland.
An LPA may have limits on the decisions the Attorney can make, for example with regard to where the Donor lives or the ability to sell the Donor’s house. The LPA may include guidance about the Donor’s wishes and feelings. The Attorney should take account of guidance.
The Donor may appoint more than one Attorney, either to act together (all must agree), or together and independently (can act together or any one can decide). It is very important for Attorneys to discuss decisions, where relevant, before making them to avoid conflicts during the operation of the LPA.
There is a special LPA form which is readily available from legal stationers or by downloading from the internet. An LPA can be made at any time, but cannot be used until it has been registered with the OPG. It is recommended that it is registered as soon as possible after being made, so that there will be no delay in being able to use it should the need arise.
An LPA is a powerful document and it may be sensible to seek advice from somebody with relevant experience, such as a solicitor.
The LPA form (instrument) is in three parts:
This Act provides a statutory framework to empower and protect people who may not be able to make some decisions for themselves. Such people include those with dementia, learning disabilities, mental health problems, stroke or head injuries.
It makes clear who can take decisions in which situations and how they should go about this. It enables people to plan ahead for a time when they may lose capacity. The Act covers major decisions about someone’s property and affairs, healthcare treatment or where the person lives, as well as everyday decisions about personal care or what someone eats, where the person lacks capacity to make those decisions.
Attorneys and other people who have a duty of care to someone lacking capacity must:
The Code of Practice supports the Act and provides guidance for people working with and/or caring for adults who lack capacity, including family members, professionals and carers. It describes their responsibilities when acting or making decisions with, or on behalf of, individuals who lack the capacity to do so themselves.
Duties and obligations of an Attorney under an LPA include:
and specifically in relation to property and affairs LPAs:
If you would like advice on personal tax and financial planning issues, contact Attwoods.