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DIY Lasting Power of Attorney: A Step-by-Step Guide and the Importance of Professional Assistance


a man losing his temper because he got his DIY LPA wrong again

Planning for the future is crucial to ensure our wishes are respected, particularly in legal matters like a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA). An LPA grants trusted individuals the authority to make decisions on our behalf when we are no longer capable. While it's possible to write an LPA yourself, understanding the intricacies and potential challenges is important. In this blog post, we'll guide you through the process, explain crucial terminology, emphasise the significance of proper execution, discuss the difficulties in finding a certificate provider, and ultimately explore why seeking professional help may be the better option.


Understanding Terminology: How Attorneys Can Act


Before delving into the process, it's crucial to grasp the terminology associated with an LPA. The person creating the LPA is known as the "Donor." The individuals appointed to act on behalf of the Donor are called "Attorneys." Attorneys have specific powers defined in the LPA document, and they can act in two ways:


Jointly: Attorneys must act together, reaching unanimous decisions on every matter. This ensures that all decisions are made collectively and with equal authority.


Jointly and Severally: Attorneys can act both together and independently. This gives them the flexibility to make decisions either jointly or individually. They can act together when required, but they also have the power to act independently when immediate action is necessary.


Jointly for some and Severally for others: This is a combination of both. You will need to be clear as to what decisions will need to be made jointly.


Signing Everything in the Right Order: Crucial Steps for Validity


When writing an LPA, the proper signing order is vital for its validity. The Donor must sign first, followed by the Attorneys. Additionally, a Certificate Provider must confirm that the Donor understands the implications and hasn't been unduly influenced. This order ensures the document's legality and authenticity, preventing potential challenges in the future.


Difficulties in Finding a Certificate Provider


One challenge many individuals face when creating an LPA is finding a suitable Certificate Provider. The Certificate Provider can be a professional like a solicitor or doctor, or someone the Donor has known for at least two years. However, finding an eligible person willing to objectively fulfil this role can be challenging. This hurdle can potentially delay the process and create frustration for those attempting to write an LPA without professional assistance.


The Importance of Seeking Professional Help


While it may seem tempting to tackle the process of writing an LPA yourself, there are compelling reasons to consider seeking professional help:


Professional Expertise: Professionals specialise in LPAs and possess extensive knowledge of the legal requirements and potential pitfalls. They can guide you through the process, ensuring all necessary steps are accurately followed.


Peace of Mind: Engaging a professional provides assurance that your LPA has been correctly executed, minimising the risk of future disputes or challenges.


Efficiency: Writing an LPA independently can be time-consuming and potentially lead to errors. Professionals streamline the process, ensuring it is completed efficiently and accurately. With hold times currently in excess of 90 minutes if there is a problem your professional will be able to help.


Processing Time and Capacity Concerns


After an LPA is written and signed, it needs to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) to become valid. However, the registration process can take several weeks or even months, depending on the OPG's workload. During this time, if a person loses capacity before the LPA is registered, it can complicate matters, leaving decisions in the hands of the court rather than trusted Attorneys.


While attempting to write an LPA yourself is possible, the complexities involved, such as understanding terminology, executing documents in the right order, and finding a certificate provider, highlight the importance of seeking professional assistance. Professionals offer expertise, peace of mind, and efficiency, ensuring a smoother process. By choosing professional help, you can protect your interests and ensure that your wishes are appropriately


If you’re looking to write your will or lasting power of attorney book an appointment with Joshua Young. I am A Will Writer covering Farnborough, Basingstoke, Camberley, Aldershot and the surrounding areas.




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