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The Bishop, The EDT, The Great Exhibition, the Actress or another?
messageLasting Power of Attorney
Posted by seemster 24 August, 2019 11:02

Hello forumites,
Does anyone have any recent experience of completing LPAs?

Iím thinking we (family) can do them ourselves but also wondering what, if any, advantage there is to paying for a solicitor? How careful do we need to be with the wording in the special instructions section?

Would also be interested in experiences / hints / tips when it comes to actually using them.

We are three sisters and the plan is that I am listed as the attorney for both mum and dad for both health and finance, and then my two sisters are joint and several replacement attorneys. And a neighbour has recently met with mum and dad and said she will be happy to certify that they are doing this freely and while in good health/ mental capacity.

Many thanks

messageRe: Lasting Power of Attorney
Posted by Captain Marvel 24 August, 2019 13:27

I did one ten years ago so my memory is a bit hazy (and it's getting worse) but I think it was pretty straightforward. No solicitor necessary. Just remember not to lose the certified copies... like I did

messageRe: Lasting Power of Attorney
Posted by peckham_ryu 24 August, 2019 14:45

In terms of actually using them, a cautionary experience from one of my cousins:

My cousin was a very prudent lady. Long before she needed it, she arranged an enduring power of attorney so that her daughter could control her finances. Years later, my cousin was admitted to hospital, where she would have to remain for what were sadly her final days. She sent her daughter to the bank, as she wanted to make a few gifts. To their dismay, when the daughter produced the correctly completed and certified document which had been in the filing cabinet for years, the bank could not do anything with it. My cousin effectively had no practical way of accessing her own money, even though she had put the legal authority in place for her daughter.

It turns out that once you have the power of attorney, you need to go and register it at the banks where youíll need it to be used.

You would have thought a solicitor would tell you this stuff, but neither my cousinís did, nor did my motherís when she wrote hers. My mum and I have since followed up with her bank - as the Ďattorneyí, I had to provide all the stuff you would for opening your own new account, like passport and a recent bill. I think the bank sent my mobile banking details, which I guess Iíll activate if my mum ever needs me to.

messageRe: Lasting Power of Attorney
Posted by Captain Marvel 24 August, 2019 15:05

Why couldn't they register it then and there? They don't expire. There's something wrong with that story

messageRe: Lasting Power of Attorney
Posted by Pugwash 24 August, 2019 16:19

I had LPA for my Dad for around 10 years. LPAs superseded Enduring Powers of Attorney which needed to be registered with the Courts of Protection - but once registered can be used even though LPAs were now the alternative.

Dad did his through his solicitor with me present - this was because Dad was going through a separation with my step mother and he wanted to change his will at the same time. Once the certified copies came through I took them to Nat West Bank along with ID for myself also proof of address etc. Nat West did not know what to do with them so I had to explain that they needed to photocopy them as well as my ID details and signature and arrange that all statements went to my address. The bank manager I met later on apologised for her staff's lack of knowledge - it was a small village branch and they rarely had to deal with such requests. I was also issued with cheque books with my name on plus Dad's name, and a debit card.

Barclays bank also had copies of the certificated documents and my ID and Dad agreed to use the money in this account to purchase a Funeral Plan - he signed the cheque at this stage and I later closed the account as he used Nat West for his pensions/bills etc. Years later - I discovered annual bank statements in his drawer at the care home (he was registered blind at this stage). Went along to Barclays to sort out this account which they had forgotten to tell me about and found that because all their records had been sent to a larger branch, could not find original documentation. What was worse since he had not drawn on the account for many years, and money a couple of thousand of pounds had been put into a 'general account'. Took nearly a year to sort out.

Lesson - once certified copies are received - take them to banks/building society. perhaps with parents, and make sure that all accounts are covered and where bank statements are to be sent. Ideally get a letter confirming that they are in receipt of documentation and confirmation as to who received statements. Keep accurate accounts as Courts of Protection can ask for annual accounts. Also if anyone challenges the attorneys 'honesty' COP can call in the accounts/statements at any time.

I am in the process of doing an LPA for finance/property for myself and hubby. I think the special instructions relating to Health and Welfare may relate to End of Life Care and funeral wishes. From professional experience it is very hard for families to discuss death with their loved ones and it may be easier to have this discussion when completing LPA forms. My mother had stated that she did not want to die alone or in hospital and had requested that if possible she die in St. Christopher's Hospice. When it was realised she would only have days to live, we were able to get her into the hospice where she passed away 10 days later.

St Christopher's have booklets on End of Life care and wishes which may be helpful to you.

LPAs are less costly to undertake and need to be taken out when the donor has full mental capacity and is able to understand and consent to the procedure.

If someone lacks mental capacity - the application to the Courts of Protection is expensive and arduous and requires considerable documentation - also confirmation from a professional i.e. GP, OT. Social Worker, Nurse, solicitor - that person does not have the mental capacity to understand and manage their finances. It used to take COP upto 26 weeks from receiving forms to officially appointing Attorney etc, but there was talk of this being reduced to around 20 weeks. From my experience LPAs tend to take around 12 weeks.

messageRe: Lasting Power of Attorney
Posted by peckham_ryu 24 August, 2019 17:18

Captain Marvel Wrote:
> Why couldn't they register it then and there? They
> don't expire. There's something wrong with that
> story

When I registered my mumís at NatWest, I did so with their own form which she had already filled in and signed. I also had to show a recent bill and ID. When a loved one is very ill, and youíre far from home to be with them, and youíre dealing with all sorts of things for them all while trying to keep yourself emotionally together, time can be against you even for what might seem like relatively simple things. Like getting a bankís form filled in when the account holderís condition has worsened considerably, getting hold of your ID if itís back at home, that sort of thing.

messageRe: Lasting Power of Attorney
Posted by seemster 25 August, 2019 17:37

Many thanks everyone, much appreciated.

messageRe: Lasting Power of Attorney
Posted by skylorikeet 26 August, 2019 16:47

Depending on how quickly you want to do this Bell House in Dulwich has an event about setting up LPAs etc on Saturday 21 September. There will be experts from St Christopher's among others and also people who have personal experience:
(I volunteer there and can vouch for how helpful similar sessions have been)

messageRe: Lasting Power of Attorney
Posted by Penguin68 27 August, 2019 17:38

There are several key differences between the old Enduring and the new Lasting Powers.

1. Lasting Powers are now registered, from the start, and for a fee, with the Court of Protection. However, the fee is low and a single fee can cover multiple Attorneys, if they are registered together. Once the principal loses the power of independent decision on a permanent basis this will have to be notified to the Court of Protection, but a temporary loss of capacity (e.g. an illness, operation etc.) does not, I think have to be notified. Nor would something like 'being abroad' if decisions needed to be made in absentia, or forms signed. And nor would a choice when an (elderly?) person wanted to hand over the running of their finances to someone else, when when they retained a decision making capacity. The old Enduring Powers were much more expensive to register, and were only registered when capacity was permanently lost (e.g. through dementia). Then there was a lot of rigmarole, including ensuring that all relatives agreed to the Power being granted. This took time and, as I say, was expensive.

2. The Powers cover separately Financial and Medical Powers, so for full cover you will need one of each.

3. Overly complex requirements written into the Powers may not be accepted by the Court of Protection so having a solicitor help you may be useful. A solicitor can also keep copies of everything which may be helpful if you set up a Power long before you may need it (which is a really good idea - you cannot tell when the worst might happen!)

You will also need to decide whether your attorneys have joint or several decision making powers (must they all agree of can one take the lead, if there is more than one?)

Both LPAs and EPAs have the problem that banks etc. can be bloody awkward and unhelpful when it comes to accepting their (legal) registration. However much you have got everything 'right'.

messageRe: Lasting Power of Attorney
Posted by seemster 27 August, 2019 18:42

Thanks for the extra info.

@skylorikeet - I will try to go along on 21st Sept if I can, although Iím much clearer now on the questions I had.

Iíll also post again when weíre further down the road, but so far we are sorted on the first stage of applying and registering, and now we are looking into consequences of joint bank accounts. As some of you and others have said, the banks need a lot of hand holding with something that they ought to take in their stride - which means they might not react well to me being attorney for both parties in a joint bank account! So we are investigating and will update the post with everything weíve learned in case it helps anyone else.

messageRe: Lasting Power of Attorney
Posted by cathy p j 28 August, 2019 07:11

Hi semester,
I held LPAs for both of my parents at the same time, and they had a joint current bank account with HSBC. There werenít any problems with me operating the joint account as attorney for each of them. I also opened a new joint savings account for them, also with HSBC. The only bank I had a bad experience with was Santander, where they each had cash ISAs. Santander were so difficult to deal with as an attorney that I closed those accounts and transferred them elsewhere. I hope you have no problems dealing with the banks.

messageRe: Lasting Power of Attorney
Posted by seemster 31 August, 2019 17:46

Thanks Cathy

messageRe: Lasting Power of Attorney
Posted by PeckhamRose 10 September, 2019 21:19

Hi, I have only just seen this post, so I hope my experience can still offer some help.

My thoughts and suggestions (to you and/or anyone else reading this):

1) ALWAYS do it / them well in advance.

2) I had LPAs for Health and Welfare, and Finance, completed for each of my parents, done through SAGA. I would NOT recommend doing it through SAGA. Their solicitors were dreadfully incompetent, ridiculous expensive, and the solicitors' assistants made so many errors that I, as a former proof reader, felt very angry about. My parents paid for all of this.

3) I would suggest that as soon as they have been completed, and registered, you go to every bank / financial institution that is relevant to the person/s for whom you are acting, WITH them if possible, whilst they are able to accompany you, so that you can show the manager your forms and they can register this LPA and your right to act IN ADVANCE at each organisation.

4) NEVER use SAGA (did I say that already?!)

5) When both parents sadly got to the point of suffering dementia, the LPA was really helpful for me to organise their payments for things, and buy the things they needed with their money. And I was also listened to more seriously with the LPA for Health and Welfare matters, although I believe The State still has the final say in some issues.

5) There is also a form you can get from the social services which allows you to be the recognised responsible person to deal with on behalf of someone else who is under the care of social services. I seem to remember it is a form called something like BF57. That's also worth having.

I plan to get LPAs done for my husband and I to act for one another. I am just going to copy type directly from the ones I had for my parents and see how that goes!

I won't be able to get to the advice session mentioned above, but there is a lot of advice on line about it.
Best wishes!

Humanist Funeral Celebrant

messageRe: Lasting Power of Attorney
Posted by seemster 11 September, 2019 17:17

Thankyou peckhamrose

messageRe: Lasting Power of Attorney
Posted by seemster 24 September, 2019 09:04

The session on 21st at Bell House was excellent, thanks for the recommendation. Iíve got an email with the presentations if anyone wants a copy - send me a PM.

In terms of progress, it turns out we werenít as sorted as I thought - one of my sisters questioned why our parents wanted me to be their attorney and the other sister refused to be a joint and several replacement with the first one! Weíve got through it and agreed who is doing what but it took a lot of patience and time for talking. Iíll still be the attorney as that is what my parents want and instead of sisters being replacement attorneys (also known as reserve attorneys) it will be my niece and nephew - both 21 and willing and able to represent each sisterís views - and, a relatively hypothetical role, assuming I donít pop my clogs before my parents...

Next steps are to fill in the forms and get the signatures in the right order (very important) and also to have a discussion with mum and dad to understand their wishes - we will do advanced statements (not legally binding) instead of advanced decisions (legally binding) in order that there is no conflict with the LPAs. (If you have both LPA and advanced decision docs then only the one with the latest date will be used)

Hope this is of some use to someone at some point.

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