Setting up a Power of Attorney- it's easier than you thought
Setting up a Power of Attorney by Kristina Kennedy-Aguero
Setting up a Power of Attorney is a lot easier and less expensive than you may have thought. You can even do it yourself online.
How to set up an Ordinary Power of Attorney
You can download the template of the form you need from the internet. There is a standard wording that you must use. If you have trouble filling it in you can ask your local Citizens Advice.
Setting up a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA)
The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) will send you an information pack. You can either download the forms you need or fill them out online. If the affairs are simple you will be able to fill in the forms on your own. For more complex situations seeking professional advice can avoid future problems. Alternatively, you can call the OPG hotline for free advice.
Once completed, the LPA must be signed by a certified provider. This person must be someone who knows you well or a professional person such as a doctor, solicitor, or social worker. They must confirm that you understand what the LPA says and means. Also, that you have not been pressured into signing it.
Choosing your attorney
This role has a lot of responsibility and power. You should choose someone you know well and trust and make sure that they are willing to take on the task. You can appoint more than one attorney who can work together on all matters (jointly). Or they may act separately or together as they choose (jointly and severally). You may choose to include a replacement attorney in case something happens to your first-choice person.
Registering your LPA
Next, you must register the LPA with the Office of the Public Guardian. It costs £82 to register each LPA in England and Wales. You may need to do two. One for financial decisions and one for health and care decisions. (See last weeks blog).
You must still have your mental capacity when you register it. It takes about nine weeks for the registration process to finish. During this time the LPA can not be used.