Is a DIY LPA a good idea?
Have you ever thought what would happen to you if you have an illness or an accident that leaves you unable to make decisions for yourself?
Do you own a business or have a family to support?
None of us want to prepare for the worst but having arrangements in place can save a lot of heartache, financial worry and additional stress for you and your family in the future. This is where a Lasting Power of Attorney comes in.
What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) is a legal document which lets you appoint someone to make decisions and act on your behalf should you lack the mental capacity to do so, this person or persons are known are an Attorney (s)
An LPA is a small but mighty document and only comes into effect when you need it to.
Why should you have an LPA in the first place? No one can automatically deal with your affairs
Why not wait until it is needed? You can only make an LPA when you have mental capacity so leaving it until you actually need it is too late.
YOU choose who makes decisions for you meaning you are in control.
What decision can be made with an LPA?
There are two types of LPA
Property and Financial Affairs
Money & property, for example:
Selling your home
Health and Welfare
All the above are things that will need to be decided and if you do not have mental capacity to make these decisions for yourself at least you have peace of mind that your chosen person can make them for you with your best interest at heart.
What if you lose mental capacity and do not have an LPA?
Your family will not automatically have any legal authority to deal with your affairs. There is a route your family can take to become your ‘Deputy’ but this is a longer and more costly route as they would need to apply to the Court of Protection adding extra stress and financial worries. Which is why we recommend you make an LPA today and have it in place for the future.
Can you make an LPA yourself?
You can, but we would highly recommend you contact the expert team at Murray Hills Solicitors to guide you through and here is why.
Legal document – An LPA is a very powerful document; you are giving someone else power over you, your life and decisions as you can no longer make these yourself. You must fully understand it before putting one in place and a Solicitor can provide you with all the information and advice that you need.
Mental Capacity – This section of the form requires confirmation you have mental capacity at the time of making the LPA, it involves a discussion and an understanding of the terms, purpose and scope of authority. The certificate provider does not have to be a Solicitor but if your mental capacity or independence at the time you made the LPA is ever brought into question, your LPA is more likely to be cancelled if a Solicitor has not provided the certificate. This is because a Solicitor is very well qualified to act as your professional certificate provider, they can explain it fully to you, have the expertise to establish whether you fully understand and have the skill set to determine that you are making the LPA through your own wishes.
Mistakes – If you make mistakes when making your LPA, there can be a number of consequences. The best thing that can happen is that any mistakes are picked up at the point of registration. Meaning your LPA is sent back to you and you will have to pay further monies to try and have it registered again but it will hopefully also mean that you are still in good enough health to rectify the mistake. These mistakes tend to be procedural such as the LPA being signed in the wrong order. If these mistakes are not picked up at the time of registering your LPA then they will likely be recognised at the very time you need to rely upon your LPA. It can be a big problem if you have lost your mental capacity by the time the mistake comes to light because you will then not be able to make another LPA. The consequences of these types of mistakes might be that that your LPA either does not work in the way you had intended it to or is completely invalid. These types of mistakes often arise from the choices you make within your LPA, how you word those choices and also how you go about getting your LPA signed.
A solicitor will explain the choices available to you and the implications of each choice so that your LPA does precisely what you want it to do, they will also have done many LPA’s before yours and will be well versed in how to have it effectively signed and witnessed.
Scope – If you make your own LPA it might not cover all the thing you want it to when you need it. Joint bank accounts, property, businesses and investments are all things you can discuss with your Solicitor enabling your LPA to meet your specific needs and help you get the most out of it.
You want your LPA to be able to stand up to scrutiny if a family member or any other person wanted to call it into question. Do you think it would if your friend or neighbour signed it for you?
Will they be able to explain and discuss the LPA with you making sure it is what you want and need?
We agree that it would certainly be cheaper to do your own LPA but making it with a Solicitor you will received a better quality, be able to discuss all your needs, ensure the LPA is suitable for your own needs and will be there to protect you, your family and affairs in the future.
We all like to save a little money where ever possible but something are worth that extra reassurance, quality and professionalism to ensure they are right. After all, it is your future and the future of your family that we are talking about.
Want to know more?
Here at Murray Hills Solicitors we understand that your money and time are precious, this is why we offer a free half an hour consultation, giving you the opportunity to discuss the best way forward for you without spending a penny.
Our expert, professional and friendly team are here for you, guiding you through the process, explaining all the decisions that need to be made and filling out the required forms. Give them a call on 01262 672249 today.