Proving lasting power of attorney
Often as relatives age their health can decline, making it difficult for them to manage their affairs. In such cases they may want to get a lasting power of attorney. This is a legal document that enables another individual of their choice to make legal, financial and/or healthcare decisions on their behalf if they become unable to do it themselves.
There are two types of lasting power of attorney (LPA):
- Health and welfare
- Property and financial
You can choose to make just one type, or both. To obtain an LPA, you have to choose your attorney or attorneys (you can have more than one), fill in the necessary forms, and register the LPA with the Office of the Public Guardian. This can take up to 20 weeks.
A financial lasting power of attorney covers things like managing bank accounts, paying bills, collecting a pension or benefits, and selling property. A health and welfare LPA covers decisions about medical care, help with daily routines, moving into a care home and life-sustaining treatment.
Proving you have lasting power of attorney
In order to begin conducting the affairs of another person (referred to as the ‘donor’), you need to be able to prove you have LPA. It’s not simply a case of going to the bank with a copy of the document and expecting to withdraw money. So, in order to prove you have LPA, you need to present a certified copy of it.
Certified copies of the LPA should be sent to the financial institutions that the donor deals with. These could be banks, pensions providers, their landlord or mortgage provider, their utilities provider, their life insurer and their investment portfolio manager, if they have one. An LPA can be certified by the donor if they are still able to make their own decisions. To do this, they must write the following on the bottom of each page of the copy:
“I certify this is a true and complete copy of the corresponding page of the original lasting power of attorney.”
On the final page of the copy, must be written:
“I certify this is a true and complete copy of the lasting power of attorney.”
Every page will also need to be signed and dated.
If the donor is no longer capable of making their own decisions, an LPA can be certified by a solicitor or other person who is authorised to carry out notarial activities.
If you need help with ensuring your finances will remain secure if you become unable to manage them yourself, you can speak to a Kent accountant for probate services. Experts such as Kent tax advisors can assist with estate planning and advise on aspects relating to lasting power of attorney, ensuring you can make all the necessary arrangements to keep your affairs in order should you become unable to manage them yourself.