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LPAs - a cautionary tale

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chipp
chipp Posts: 141 Forumite
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My parents both set up LPAs four years ago. I did mine more recently so I know that until a couple of years ago at least, the phrase "cannot be used until I lack mental capacity" was standard suggested wording and intended to protect the donor (person making the LPA) from unscrupulous attorneys.

But because of the closed mindset of so many people in authority it seems to render the document unworkable.

Alzheimer's and a stroke have left both parents now lacking mental capacity. They are not drooling but they are no longer confident of making important decisions. They want me, their attorney, to use the LPAs but the fact that they have given the registered documents to me counts for nothing it seems. Ironically, the very act of making the decision to ask me to act suggests to officialdom that they DO have mental capacity!

It seems to come down to differing understandings of the meaning of the word "lack", as in whether whether it used in the context of total absence or whether just incomplete. The gov.uk LPA website has a link to the Mental Capacity Act code of practice which does clarify things, but trying to get persuade the people who need to, to read chapter 4, is an uphill struggle.
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  • Keep_pedalling
    Keep_pedalling Posts: 16,856 Forumite
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    The thing about LPAs is that you choose attorneys you trust. Once registered your attorneys can act for you regardless of your mental capacity, so using such terminology, as you have discovered, simply confuses matters for organisations you try to register the LPA with.
  • kkgree1
    kkgree1 Posts: 328 Forumite
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    The simplest thing may be to redo the LPAs without the wording about lacking mental capacity.

    We did this last year for my Mother-in-law as her LPA from 2009 didn't have wording required for us (as her attorneys) to manage a large investment. We looked at several options and having taken advice from the bank's legal department, decided it was cheaper and easier to redo the LPA.

    From personal experience, we operate her LPA with her still having mental capacity but I have had to remind her banks of this as some wrongly assume she doesn't.
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