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Lasting power of attorney (LPA)

Neuro Café - 30th March 2022 by Linda S

A close up of a piece of paper on a wooden surface. The words "POWER OF ATTORNEY" are in bold at the top of the page. There is a judge's hammer resting on the page.
A power of attorney document

Richard Chilton joined us this week from Hammersmith & Fulham Citizen’s Advice Bureau. He gave us an excellent overview of Power of Attorney and Benefit Appointees.

Benefit Appointee

  • They are registered with the Department of work and pensions (DWP) to manage another person's benefits, if that person lacks the capacity to do it themselves.

  • They can help with paying rent, bills, managing overpayments.

  • A Benefit Appointee is fine short-term but not long-term unless Power of Attorney has been organised.

Calculating finances

  • You can ask a friend or relative (one person) to do this such as an individual, organisation or solicitor or councillor.

  • They will sign a claim form, spend the benefits in the claimants’ best interests and can be held responsible.

  • There is an interview process and paperwork to be completed. It is a relatively quick process. You will be monitored. It is a different process depending on which benefits you get.

Power of Attorney (POA)

Two people discussing a document in court

There are two types:

1. Ordinary - You have mental capacity.

Somebody you choose helps you make decisions or makes decisions on your behalf.

2. Lasting - You no longer have mental capacity.

This is a long-term arrangement. This can only be set up while you still have mental capacity.

  • A POA has ability to make decisions about your life and communicate them.

  • Finance & Property - can apply before loss of mental capacity

  • Health & Welfare - can only apply after loss of mental capacity

  • The Attorney is really powerful and must be someone you trust to act in your best interests and according to your wishes. It can be more than one person.

  • The Attorney must be over 18, can be family, a friend or solicitor but not paid care workers. The Attorney can claim expenses but cannot charge for time unless they are a solicitor.

  • To organise a POA, you can use a solicitor or do it yourself. It costs £82 for each LPA and can take up to 20 weeks to organise.

This video describes one person’s experience of POA:

If there is no power of attorney in place

  • Your spouse or partner is not automatically allowed to deal with your finances

  • They have to apply and it can be a long and costly process. People usually regret it if they did not do it before it is needed.

  • Do the POA before you need it!

For a summary and more help please see slides in the Member’s Area.

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