Power of Attorney/LPA’s and Isolation – Allowing someone to act on your behalf while in Isolation

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Power of Attorney/LPA’s and Isolation – Allowing someone to act on your behalf while in Isolation

April 7th, 2020, Legal Updates, News
Power Of Attorney - GSC Solicitors

Given the unprecedented times we are facing due to the Coronavirus pandemic, your thoughts may be ‘how can my financial affairs be dealt with if I am ill or isolating?’ The solution is a power of attorney.

What is a general power of attorney (“GPA”)?

A general power of attorney (GPA or ordinary power of attorney) allows you to appoint one or more people to deal with your financial affairs at your direction and sign on your behalf. You must have mental capacity for a GPA to be used.

Unlike an LPA you do not need to register a GPA with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) before it can be used. Therefore, it is effective as soon as you sign it. You can stop the GPA being effective through a deed of revocation or it will automatically end if you lose mental capacity to make your own decisions.

A lasting power of attorney (LPA) allows you to appoint one or more people to make or help make decisions on your behalf if you have an illness or accident which result in you being unable to make your own decisions, i.e. you lose your mental capacity. In practice, this means you and will have more say over what will happen to you.

There are two types of LPA:

1) Health and welfare: can only be used when you do not have mental capacity and may cover decisions concerning your medical care, moving into a care home, life-sustaining treatment, your daily routine etc.

2) Property and financial affairs: can be used with your permission as soon as registered with the OPG and may cover decisions concerning payment of bills, access to bank or building society accounts, selling your home or collecting benefits or a pension.

Here is a comparison of some key points for you to consider when choosing between a GPA and an LPA:

Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) General Power of Attorney (GPA)
Timeframe At least 12 weeks to:
• Choose your attorneys
• Complete the relevant paperwork
• The OPG to register so that it is effective.
Approximately 1 week to:
• Choose your attorneys;
• Complete the document
• The GPA will be effective when you have signed.
When can the power of attorney be used? Health & Welfare can only be used when you are unable to make decisions due to mental incapacity.
Property & Financial affairs may be used, at your direction, once registered with the OPG.
As soon as you sign the document and it is witnessed.
Am I eligible to make the power of attorney? Yes if you:
• Are aged 18 or older; and
• Have mental capacity
Yes if you are:
• Are aged 18 or older; and
• Have mental capacity
Do I need mental capacity for the power to be used? No Yes

For further questions in relation to the above, please contact James Cohen directly on jcohen@gscsolicitors.com or 0207 822 2257.

© 2020 GSC Solicitors LLP. All rights reserved. GSC grants permission for the browsing of this material and for the printing of one copy per person for personal reference. GSC’s written permission must be obtained for any other use of this material. This publication has been prepared only as a guide to provide readers with general information on recent legal developments. It is not formal legal advice and should not be relied on for any purpose. You should not act or refrain from acting based on the information contained in this document without obtaining specific formal advice from suitably qualified advisors.

 

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