Consequences of not Making an LPA
What happens if I haven’t made my Lasting Powers of Attorney and I lose mental capacity?
If there are no Lasting Powers of Attorney in place, then there is no one with legal authority to manage your affairs, for example to access your bank and savings accounts, your investments, or sell your property on your behalf.
Unfortunately many people assume that their spouse, partner or children can just take over – but this is certainly not the case. In such situations, for someone to obtain legal authority to manage your affairs, they have to apply to the Court of Protection. The court appoints a ‘Deputy’, who is usually an accountant or solicitor, and therefore much more costly than appointing Attorneys under an LPA. Until a Deputy has been appointed by the Court, no access to a joint account is allowed and this process can take between 6-12 months, or even longer!
If you have not appointed your Attorneys, the costs involved if your family has to apply to the Court of Protection can be extremely expensive. As an indication, in the first year Court Costs and Solicitors Fees plus Statutory Reports are likely to be around £3,500, with ongoing annual costs of about £2,000 each year the Deputy has to act for the person who has lost capacity.
Challenging Decisions Made by the Authorities
The provision of care, the quality of that care and who pays for it, is decided on assessment by the NHS and Social Services. However, without Lasting Powers of Attorney there is no right for family to be present at such assessments, and decisions made cannot be challenged! Full disclosure of NHS and Social Service records are vital, but without LPA’s, such records can be withheld, and these organisations can legally refuse to correspond or deal with the family. So it really is vital that your LPA’s are in place.