We all hope that our mental and physical health will not fail us but none of us know what life has in store.

What are our options?

Should we plan ahead and put in place a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) knowing that should we need assistance in the future then at least we have decided who is to give that help? Or should we hope that our mental health does not deteriorate to a point we can no longer cope alone meaning that an application has to be made to the Court of Protection to appoint a Deputy to look after our affairs?

Lasting Powers of Attorney

An LPA can be made at any time provided you have mental capacity. Its purpose is to appoint a person who you trust to manage your finances and / or welfare. It has to be registered at the Office of the Public Guardian before it can be used by the Attorney. So long as you had capacity when you made the LPA, it can be registered after you have lost capacity.

In other words, by making an LPA whilst you have capacity, you can be safe in the knowledge that if you later lose capacity, your appointed Attorney will be able to register the LPA and make sure your finances and / or welfare are properly cared for.

There is a court registration fee of £82 for each LPA registered plus solicitors fees. The process takes approximately 3 months.  Once the LPA is registered there are usually no further costs.

Application To Appoint A Deputy

If someone is unfortunate enough to lose mental capacity without having put in place an LPA, then it is often necessary to apply to the Court of Protection to appoint a deputy to manage that person’s affairs.

Unfortunately, this is a longer and more complicated process than putting in place an LPA in advance.

The application to the Court of Protection requires detailed information and a full medical assessment. It can take around six months to complete.  There is a Court fee of £400 and if you use a solicitor, legal costs of £950 plus VAT.  The appointed Deputy will have to pay an annual security bond, an annual supervision fee and must submit annual accounts.

There is also no guarantee that the person the court appoints as a Deputy would be someone that the person who has lost capacity would have chosen as their Attorney.

Our Recommendations

Having a family member or close friend lose mental capacity so that they need another person to manage their affairs will always be an upsetting and stressful experience. By planning ahead and putting in place a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA), it can help avoid unnecessary complications and bureaucracy for our loved ones.

If you would like to discuss making a Lasting Power of Attorney or your options in more detail our team of experienced wills and probate lawyers would be delighted to hear from you.

About The Author

Mandy Potter is a full member of The Society of Trust and Estate Practitioners (STEP).

Mandy specialises in all aspects of private client work in particular preparation of Wills, tax planning, probate and estate administration. In addition she also advises clients on the preparation of general and lasting powers of attorney, the registration of enduring powers of attorney, deputyship applications and advising generally on Court of Protection matters

Mandy can be contacted on