Your LPA – What can go wrong if you don’t use a solicitor?
Given the importance of Lasting Powers of Attorney and the serious consequences if you get it wrong, we would strongly recommend taking legal advice from us when preparing Lasting Powers of Attorney.
Some of the reasons why we recommend speaking with us are:
- If you do not follow the Court's instructions precisely on the creation of Lasting Power of Attorney, the Office of the Public Guardian will not register the same. This may mean you would need to resubmit your application and pay the registration fee again. If you instruct us to deal with the preparation of your Lasting Power of Attorney, as we are experts, we can ensure that the Office of the Public Guardian's instructions are followed correctly.
- The Office of the Public Guardian does not check if the names, addresses or dates of birth on your Lasting Powers of Attorney application are correct. This means that, although a Lasting Power of Attorney may be registered, it may not be valid. In practice, relevant third parties, such as banks and hospitals, require not only certified copies of the Lasting Power of Attorney, but also proof of an attorney's identity. If an attorney's details on his/her passport (for example) differ to what is set out in the Lasting Power of Attorney, then banks, hospitals and other third parties are unlikely to follow any instructions given by that attorney. This could result in your wishes under your Lasting Power of Attorney not being followed, which could then have serious implications if, for example, you need medical treatment or funds to be released by your bank. If you instruct us to prepare your Lasting Power of Attorney, we will carefully check the supporting documents before the forms are sent to the Office of the Public Guardian.
- There is also a risk of course that someone is seeking to take advantage of another person who lacks mental capacity. If you instruct us, we can act as your 'Certificate Provider' and confirm that you have the mental capacity to set up your Lasting Power of Attorney. We believe this significantly reduces the risk of attorneys abusing their powers.
By instructing us to assist you in the preparation of your Lasting Power of Attorney, you will have the peace of mind that you have created a valid and enforceable Lasting Power of Attorney that avoids any problems which may arise in the future.
Should you wish to discuss the issues raised in this piece with a member of our specialised team, please do not hesitate to get in touch with us on 01922 720333 for our Walsall Office of 0121 355 2336 for our Sutton Coldfield office.