Legal

Obtaining Lasting Power of Attorney In a COVID-19 World

author-img By Arina Smith 5 Mins Read 11 September 2023

Lasting Power of Attorney

COVID-19 has wreaked havoc across the globe since the start of 2020 and has caused enormous problems for those that had already struggled to manage their personal finances. People that are only able to do day-to-day things with assistance have had to socially distance themselves from those who have helped them in the past. Additionally, with so many more people suffering from complications after contracting COVID-19, there’s been some uncertainty arising related to who can make a decision if a patient lacks the physical and mental capacity to do so themselves. In some situations, this can even relate to the life-saving treatment that a patient should receive. It’s precisely this reason why so many more people have been looking for a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) during these unprecedented times.

What is a Lasting Power of Attorney?

A Lasting Power of Attorney is a legally binding document that allows someone to manage another person’s affairs on their behalf. There are two different versions of this document, one for health and welfare matters and one for finances and property.

How to Make a Lasting Power of Attorney During The Pandemic

In most cases, a person (known as the donor) will want to create an LPA to allow their family and/or trust friends (known as attorneys) to manage their affairs should they lose the mental capacity to do so themselves.

Attorneys can also use a Lasting Power of Attorney for finance and property with a donor’s consent, but only if the donor still has the mental capacity to grant it. This can be extremely useful during these unprecedented times if a donor is shielding or needs to spend some time in hospital if they’ve contracted COVID-19.

The Process

Unfortunately, the process isn’t just a case of filling out some simple forms. If you wish to grant an LPA as a donor, then you must make sure that your wishes are accurately reflected in the document and that it’s drafted to allow your attorney(s) to act exactly how you would want them to.

A Lasting Power of Attorney that is not drafted accurately can cause significant issues for attorneys in the event that a donor loses their mental capacity. This can also impact families who simply want to do the right thing for their loved one but are unable to legally do so.

It’s exactly for this reason why we highly recommend instructing an experienced solicitor to prepare the documents on your behalf. But, in order for them to prepare a Lasting Power of Attorney,

you’ll need to know and consider the following things: 

  • If you want more than one attorney, then you need to decide whether you would like them to make all decisions as a collective or whether some decisions can be made separately.
  • The full names, addresses, and dates of birth of those you want to act on your behalf.
  • Would you like anyone to step in if one or more attorneys are unable to act on your behalf? If you do, then you’ll need their full names, dates of birth, and addresses.
  • Is there going to anyone who may have concerns about who you’re appointing as your attorneys? Or, more importantly, anyone who should be aware that a Lasting Power of Attorney is being drafted?

The most challenging part of preparing a Lasting Power of Attorney during the COVID-19 pandemic is getting signatures witnessed. However, there are some ways to deal with this and many law firms can advise you on how to do this.

Once the document has been drafted, signed, and dated, it will be valid whilst you, as the donor still have mental capacity. Most law firms also recommend that a Lasting Power of Attorney is registered with the Office of the Public Guardian. Normally, the Office of the Public Guardian takes about three months to register a Lasting Power of Attorney as long as there are no objections to the document. However, due to the on-going pandemic, there are some much longer delays.

In Conclusion

The COVID-19 pandemic has particularly highlighted just how easily our power to make important decisions can be taken away at a moment’s notice. But, with the help of a Lasting Power of Attorney, you’ll be able to ensure that your wishes are followed should you lose your mental capacity in the future. Don’t delay, get in touch with a specialist law firm who can offer your expert advice and guide you throughout the entire process.

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Arina Smith

I enjoy writing and I write quality guest posts on topics of my interest and passion. I have been doing this since my college days. My special interests are in health, fitness, food and following the latest trends in these areas. I am an editor at OnlineNewsBuzz.

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