You may have recently seen that a retired Judge, Denzil Lush, expressed concerns about the lack of safeguards to protect those who create Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs). He instead favoured a Deputyship.
An LPA is a legal document which enables you (the ‘Donor’) to appoint people of your choosing (‘Attorneys’) to make decisions on your behalf if you lose the mental capacity to make those decisions yourself. Different LPAs cover financial and welfare decisions.
Creating an LPA enables you to decide who will deal with your affairs. Once registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (‘OPG’), the LPA can be used immediately, if you lose capacity.
If someone loses capacity without having made an LPA, a Deputyship Application can be made. The person who wishes to be appointed as a Deputy can apply, but ultimately the Court will decide who to appoint.
The Deputyship Application is more complex and time consuming and has higher fees and running costs. The proposed Deputy cannot act until they have been appointed, resulting in a period when funds are inaccessible.
Attorneys and Deputies must act in the best interests of the Donor. Deputies are supervised and must report to the Court. Whilst Attorneys are not formerly supervised, any concerns can be reported to the OPG. The Court can remove any Attorney or Deputy who acts inappropriately.
Creating an LPA requires you to place immense trust on your Attorney(s), but provided you choose your Attorney(s) carefully, LPAs provide an effective way of ensuring your affairs will continue to be dealt with if you lose mental capacity. The best safeguard is to choose the right Attorney(s).
If you wish to discuss LPAs or making a Deputyship application, please contact Hannah Borner on 01582 765111 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.