New guidelines issued about how to complete Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPA’s) whilst lockdown/shielding provisions are still in force.
If you want to make an LPA you can still do so whilst observing government guidance on self distancing, self isolating and shielding.
- The LPA can be posted to anyone who needs to sign it. Or you can meet in a garden or open space, just stay 2m apart and wash your hands before and after handling the LPA
- Witnessing the document may feel difficult, but where signatures need to be witnessed this can be done by a neighbour on the doorstep or over the garden fence (so long as they stay 2m away) or even through a clear but closed window.
- If you are the person making the LPA (the donor) , your signature can be witnessed by someone who lives with you, or someone from within your bubble, so long as they are over 18, have capacity and are not an attorney or a replacement attorney. It’s always best to have someone completely independent if you can manage it though-such as a friend or neighbour.
- If you are the attorney, your signature can be witnessed by someone who lives with you or someone within your bubble, so long as they are over 18, have mental capacity and are not the donor. This means if more than one attorney live together they can witness each other’s signatures. However again we always prefer it to be someone independent such as a friend or neighbour, if you can arrange that.
- If the person making the LPA cannot use a pen, then so long as they are present, someone can sign on their behalf, it just means two witnesses are required.
- If you are having a certificate provider to confirm your understanding of the document, often that conversation would happen face to face but you can still do that whilst distancing or shielding – perhaps a sunny day in your garden or outside space. We wouldn’t recommend doing it over the phone or via video call though -that could cause problems later.
Only one witnessing “Don’t”!
Don’t witness signatures over video calls such as Skype or Zoom. Signatures must be witnessed in person.
Currently the Court are taking around eight weeks to register LPA’s, but we can advise you on steps that can be put in place to ensure your financial affairs can be managed smoothly in the meantime.
Having solicitors assist with making your LPA means you have the peace of mind of knowing everything has been completed properly.
If you’re feeling concerned that by making an LPA you are losing control, another way of looking at it is that actually it is a way to keep control – you are appointing people of your choice to assist you when you want them to.
We can give advice about useful clauses to include in your LPA which will make the administration of your finances or decisions about health and care much easier for your attorneys. Our experience also means we can give practical advice about what not to include – some “helpful guidance” can actually prove to be extremely problematic.
If you would like to make enquiries about making an LPA, please call for a free, no obligation initial chat with one of our experienced Life Planning team on 01904 624903 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.