A staple of private client work, lasting powers of attorney are immeasurably useful if you are at risk of losing mental capacity and have concerns over your welfare. Our powers of attorney solicitors in Brighton and Hove take the utmost care to ensure your lasting power of attorney does exactly what you want.
What Is a Lasting Power of Attorney?
A lasting power of attorney is a document that allows others to make decisions on your behalf either when you cannot, or when you don’t want to. There are two forms of lasting powers of attorney that govern different areas of your life.
Health and welfare lasting powers of attorney delegate decisions about:
- where you live
- what you eat, how you dress, how you are cared for on a daily basis
- who you have contact with
- your medical care and end-of-life care
While property and finances powers of attorney allow for decisions around your:
- bank or building society accounts
- renovations or maintenance on your property
- payment of bills
- pension and or benefits
- re-mortgaging or selling your home
- entering an equity release scheme
In both cases, you must ensure you have mental capacity when making the lasting power of attorney, but you can decide whether you want it to come into effect after you have lost mental capacity, or at any other point. Our powers of attorney solicitors will ensure you have mental capacity when creating your power of attorney.
What Is Mental Capacity?
Mental capacity is the ability to articulate why you are making a decision, convey its meaning and understand its implications. You can only create lasting powers of attorney while you have mental capacity and the most common reasons for losing mental capacity are degenerative mental conditions, such as dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.
Mental capacity isn’t black and white as some people may be able to make simple decisions, such as what to eat, but be unable to make a complex decision, such as moving into a care home. Our powers of attorney solicitors will always ensure you are not being coerced and have the mental capacity to make a power of attorney yourself.
Why Use a Powers of Attorney Solicitor?
Our powers of attorney solicitors guide you through the process of creating a lasting power of attorney, ensure you understand why you are creating it, and submit all the paperwork on your behalf. Our service includes helping you stipulate:
- When you want the powers to come into effect, for example only when you lose mental capacity, or immediately.
- How many attorneys you have
- How your attorneys make decisions, for example, individually, together, or a combination of both
- Who your substitute attorneys will be
- Any specific wishes you have
It will take around 10 weeks for the entire process for your lasting powers of attorney to be registered.
How Much Does a Lasting Power of Attorney Cost?
Britton and Time charges a fixed fee of £400 plus VAT to create a single lasting power of attorney and £750 plus VAT if you wish to create both at the same time. There is an additional £82 fee per lasting power of attorney (£164 if creating both) payable to the Office of the Public Guardian where your lasting power of attorney is registered.
Lasting Powers of Attorney vs General Powers of Attorney
The key difference between a lasting power of attorney and general power of attorney is that a lasting power of attorney can come into effect either when you lose mental capacity, or at a time of your choosing. A general power of attorney is revoked if you lose mental capacity and suitable only for specific short-term situations.