You can arrange an LPA yourself but it’s a good idea to get professional legal advice to ensure you fully understand what to consider, particularly if you are funding your own care. Our trusted legal partners, Law and Life, have provided the following guidance. You can speak to them free of charge on 0800 999 4437.
1. Who will be your attorney(s)?
Your attorney can be anyone over the age of 18 who has the capacity to make decisions. Choose someone you trust completely, who will make decisions in your best interests. Where the LPA relates only to property and financial affairs, the attorney can be an individual or a trust corporation (like a firm of solicitors or a bank). When the LPA relates to welfare, only an individual can be appointed — usually a family member or someone the donor (you) has complete trust in.
2. Do you want to appoint a replacement attorney or multiple attorneys?
You can choose to appoint more than one attorney. If you do so, you must be specific in the LPA whether the attorneys must act together or separately. You may want your attorneys to make some decisions jointly — e.g. selling a house. Other decisions may be best made jointly and severally — e.g. operating a bank account. If it’s a joint appointment, the LPA can be more difficult to operate and if one attorney dies, you must make a new LPA and to make a new LPA you must have mental capacity. Replacement attorneys are a good idea, because they can step in if something happens to the original attorney.
3. Who will be your certificate provider?
The certificate provider is someone who signs the LPA form to check you understand what you're doing and that nobody is putting pressure on you to make an LPA. This can be someone who knows you well, and has known you for at least two years (perhaps a friend or neighbour) or a professional (like a solicitor or doctor).
A certificate provider cannot be under 18, a family member, a business partner or paid employee, your attorney or replacement attorney, or the owner, director, manager, or employee of the care home you live in (or any member of their family).
4. Decide what type of LPA you want to put in place: financial, health and welfare, or both.
You may want to appoint different attorneys for different purposes, so consider who is the best person for each position.
5. Decide what powers your attorney will have.
You can make restrictions to the scope of the LPA relating to particular financial matters or specific health and welfare decisions. For example, you can withhold permission for someone to deal with a specific piece of property or to make certain medical decisions.