InsightsInsight - Powers of Attorney, Wills and Probate - POSTED: April 20 2020
Making a Lasting Power of Attorney during coronavirus lockdown
Coronavirus has changed all our lives and made us reassess priorities, as well as given many people time to address legal affairs they may have put on the backburner.
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In the past few weeks we have seen an increase in enquiries from people asking about making a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), and concern around how they go about doing so during coronavirus lockdown.
Below are some common questions and concerns which we have been receiving on the issue of making a Lasting Power of Attorney during lockdown.
Making an LPA during lockdown – your questions answered
I am self-isolating and do not have an LPA – what can I do?
If you don’t have an LPA in place, you have the chance to prepare a General Power of Attorney, which is a document dealing with your financial decisions if you cannot physically make them yourself. A General Power of Attorney is only valid while you have mental capacity. If you were to lose mental capacity, the document would become invalid. A General Power of Attorney can be drawn up in a matter of days, does not have to be registered and is active once executed. It’s a useful document to allow someone to deal with your finances in the short-term while you are unable to leave the house.
I have a financial LPA – can I ask my attorneys for help?
A financial LPA has an option to be used while you still have mental capacity. This can be checked on page 6 (section 5) and can cover a situation where you cannot physically deal with your finances. This may be the case if you are in lockdown or self-isolating. Your attorneys can use the financial LPA with your consent, you only need to ask them for assistance.
How can I activate my LPA?
Before any LPA can be used, it needs to be registered. If your LPA is already registered, then you will need a certified copy of the document to use. A photocopy will not suffice, and your attorneys would not be able to use this. A certified copy holds the same legal weight as the original and can be used by your attorneys if need be.
How do I change my LPA?
If the current situation has prompted you to review your LPA and you see that you need to make changes to your document, unfortunately LPAs cannot be amended and you will need to prepare a new LPA.
As an interim measure, you can prepare a General Power of Attorney. Preparing a new LPA can take up to three months, including registration process.
If you are looking to update your Will, take a look at our article Making a Will in the age of coronavirus. For more information on making a Lasting Power of Attorney, please speak to Brachers Power of Attorney team.
This content is correct at time of publication
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