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LPA Versus Court of Protection

LPA Versus Court of Protection

The wife of a man who died in a freak accident spoke publicly about the importance of a legal document that let him “die with dignity”. Here, Will Aid Solicitor Alannah Macdonald from The Sethi Partnership Solicitors explains why this paperwork – known as a Lasting Power of Attorney – along with the work of the Court of Protection can help protect you in the worst situations imaginable.

When Bradley Visser suffered a severe traumatic brain injury at the age of 38, his wife Annie had to make some very difficult decisions about his medical care.

Although Doctors said they could keep the father-of-two alive on a life support machine it was clear that the extent of his haemorrhage meant he would never live life to the fullest.

Thanks to some difficult conversations the couple had shared regarding such a situation, the couple had appointed each other as an Attorney under a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) and Annie knew that “If he couldn’t be a daddy, if he couldn’t go to a rugby match, if he couldn’t provide for his family by working and if he couldn’t be physically active, he didn’t want to be here.”

After six days of emergency treatment at the John Radcliffe Hospital in Oxford and a severe case of double pneumonia, Annie made the decision to let her husband go.

He died on 27th July.

Last month, she bravely spoke out about the experience and said it was vital that anyone drawing up a Will considered drawing up an LPA.

“I genuinely think if I didn’t have this piece of paper, I wouldn’t be able to get out of bed in the morning,” she said. “The guilt of having to make a decision with no background knowledge on what that person genuinely wants is actually worse than the end result.”

So, what is it and how does it work?

A Lasting Power of Attorney

In simple terms, this document specifies who can take over making important Property & Financial Decisions and Health & Welfare decisions for you in the event that you are incapable of doing so for yourself.

It can only be created when your mental capacity is sound, so more often than not people draw them up when drawing up a Will.

There are two types of LPAs: one covering Property and Finances, and the other covering Health and Welfare. A Property and Finances LPA allows your Attorney to manage payments from your bank accounts and potentially sell your Property, whereas the Health and Welfare LPA allows them to make important decisions regarding your Health, such as what care you may require and any medical treatment. It is advisable to have both in place if you wish for both your Property & Financial Affairs and your Health & Welfare Decisions to be taken care of.

An LPA must be registered before it can be used and this costs £82 for each Lasting Power of Attorney.

What happens if I do not have an LPA in place?

If you lose mental capacity and you don’t have a Lasting Power of Attorney in place, an application must be made to the Court of Protection to appoint someone to act as your ‘Deputy’.

Something to bear in mind is that the Court ultimately decides who the Deputy will be, unlike the LPA process where you have that choice.

In addition to this, getting a Deputy appointed can take several months and it is also much more costly than drawing up LPAs the Application Fee alone is £385.

A Deputy has broadly the same responsibilities as an Attorney but is subject to far closer scrutiny.

They will be supervised and supported by the Office of the Public Guardian and may regular visits from its Representatives who will ask for a report detailing all income and expenditure for the person they are acting as Deputy for. The court has the power to cancel their Deputyship if it is felt that they are not acting in a person’s best interests.

Which is best?

This is difficult question.

A Lasting Power of Attorney comes with reduced cost, reduced administration and freedom to choose the person you know and trust to make decisions for you.

For someone like Annie, it provided clear guidance of what her Husband wanted her to do in the most desperate of circumstances.

However, not everyone has this sort of relationship to rely on.

In this case, a person may prefer the idea of having the Court involved in choosing and checking the person who is making their decisions and reviewing that person’s decisions every year.

Whatever your personal circumstances or preferences, it is sensible to discuss any queries and concerns that you have with a Professional rather than leaving it to chance.

Furthermore, the best time to do this is when you are making a Will.

Contact our Wills and Lasting Powers of Attorney Solicitors in Ruislip, Middlesex

Our solicitors will provide specialist legal advice tailored to your situation. To book an appointment, please call 020 3856 8156 or complete our online form and we will be in touch.

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Great Service at competitive rates. Mishba Ali was very helpful and prompt all through my dealings with her.All queries were dealt in timely manner and i would recommend her for the professional service provided and thank her for getting my paper work completed in time
We used Sethi Partnership for conveyancing and I would highly recommend Caroline Hornett-White. Caroline is very professional, efficient kept us updated and advised us where we needed through out the process. I have already recommended Caroline and Sethi partnership to my friend who will be looking at conveyancing in the future.
Anna Randall from Sethi Partnership supported in the sale of our house and purchase of our new home. It was clearly a very busy time with the rush to complete before the original stamp duty holiday deadline at the end of March, and can say that Anna was always professional balancing the communication between email and phone, and spending the time to provide advice when required.I have already recommended Anna at The Sethi Partnership Solicitors to family looking to purchase property.
I used the Sethi Partnership for the conveyancing of the sale of my house in Hatch End and was very impressed with the efficient and effective service provided. The firm carried out the sale with little fuss and with minimal input from me. They were also responsive when I had questions. Their fees were in line with their original quote and were reasonable. I have no hesitation in recommending their services.
Anna (in conveyancing) was brilliant and kept me in the loop throughout. She is very experienced and leveraged her knowledge from past cases appropriately, as well as being meticulous in her work. Thank you for all the hard work!
I was assisted by Anna Randall with my flat purchase. It was always very easy to get in contact with her by email and telephone and I received regular updates throughout the transaction. Anna's advice helped me make difficult key decisions regarding my purchase which put me in a much better position as a purchaser.
I'd highly recommend The Sethi Partnership Solicitors and in particular Anna Randall.Anna is extremely professional and most importantly responsive, we had daily call's/emails with updates regarding our sale & purchase.We cant thank you enough.
We instructed Sethi to look after the sale of our house and purchase of a different one. We were very happy with the outcome and welcomed the candid and professional advice offered about various difficulties that arose in the purchase.What stops us from giving 5 stars is that we would have preferred to have had regular updates, even if just to say that nothing had happened, and that some of the documentation we received was hard for us to follow as it was in the form of template drafts that had not been appropriately adapted for our circumstances.However, we would unreservedly recommend the company, and in particular Anna Randall, who took very good care of us throughout.
Anna Randall dealt with my house sale. Very professional and competent, would recommend her to anyone, and use her again in the future. Great service.
Anna Randall you are a star again.... extremely efficient with extensive knowledge, helped our long-winded house purchase/sale proceed to fruition despite all the pitfalls thrown at you by our buyers. Highly recommended and details already passed onto friends who are currently buying property..
We recently sold our beloved house in London right in the middle of the COVID lockdown and restrictions. Anna and team carried out a seamless job with the conveyancing from start to completion. They were responsive and pro-active at all times which was even more important when we were abroad at times. We look forward to working with you again. Thank you!
We were very happy with the way Sethi Partnership helped with the purchase of our new property.Anna was very professional and thorough in her approach which gave us extra piece of mind and security as we knew they had our best interests at heart. Would highly recommend the firm to anyone and will be sure to use them again in the future.
Anna was instrumental in making our house sale and purchase a success! She always seemed to have our best interests at heart and gave sound and timely advice with regards to some very complex matters. Excellent service and we will definitely be using The Sethi Partnership Solicitors again. Highly recommend!
I was pleased with and grateful for Caroline's work on my sale and purchase. Very responsive and provided a professional and efficient service. While other parts of the chain were being slow, Caroline was the sane voice at the end of the phone. Thanks!
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Eastcote
Ruislip
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