Lasting Powers of Attorney in Lockdown: No need to wait until after!
Having your future plans in place saves both confusion and distress when the time comes for them to be actioned.
The national lockdown has placed restrictions on how we put Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA) in place but it certainly is not impossible.
Throughout the pandemic, we have successfully ensured our high levels of service and customer care continue despite challenges.
Our Private Client team have continued to help new and existing clients with their affairs, including putting an LPA in place.
Maxine Heppenstall, Director and of our Head of Private Client department, said: “We will travel to see you and whilst this might be on a doorstep or through a window, or via a video call, we will find a way to ensure your future wishes are clearly set out.”
While following all government guidance on social distancing and self-isolation, here are a few requirements that need to take be done in order to put an LPA in place.
- All parties to LPAs must sign the same original document in the correct order.
- All signatures must be witnessed in person – this can be through a window or on a doorstep!
- Digital signatures are not permitted when signing LPAs.
- The LPA Certificate Provider must talk to you about the LPAs to ensure that you understand them. Due to lockdown, this may be carried out over a private phone or video call.
The Office of the Public Guardian is currently experiencing delays in registering during this time of lockdown period. Your LPAs must go through the process with Office of the Public Guardian before they can be used.
If you do require matters to be handled quickly, there are some informal options to express your wishes. This is a helpful way for your plans to be carried out if the unexpected occurs while your LPA is put in place.
You can write out your wishes and talk to your friends and family about how you want your affairs handled. There is also an option to make an Advanced Statement which sets our your preferences of future care and finances or an Advanced Care Plan detailing treatment and care wishes. However, none of these informal options are legally binding.
Some more legally binding options, depending on requirements, can be to set up a third party mandate authorise someone to carry out bank transactions or putting in place a General Power of Attorney to manage your financial affairs.
All these can only be made when you have the mental capacity to tell the selected person of your wishes and will come to an end if you lose capacity.
Our Private Client team is more than happy to discuss all options with you to decide how best to ensure your wishes are carried out.