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A lasting power of attorney and deputyships are both legal arrangements that allow someone else to make decisions on behalf of another person who is unable to do so. However, there are a few key differences between a Lasting Power of Attorney and a Deputyship as set out as follows:
What is the Appointment process?
An individual can create a Lasting Power of Attorney for themselves whilst they still have mental capacity. It is their choice as to who they appoint as their attorney(s) and what decisions they are able to make. On the other hand, an application to become a court appointed deputyship is only considered when an individual has lost mental capacity and has not set up a Lasting Power of Attorney beforehand.
Who has Powers?
An individual can choose to create a Lasting Power of Attorney for their finance and property affairs as well as a Lasting Power of Attorney for their health and welfare affairs. An individual can make an application to become a deputy for property and financial affairs but typically the Court of Protection (COP) is more reluctant to grant a deputy order for health and welfare except for limited situations and this requires specific court approval.
Who has the Accountability?
Attorney(s) acting under a Lasting Power of Attorney are accountable to the donor (the person who appointed them) and must act in their best interests with consideration to the principles covered by the Mental Capacity Act 2005. They are also supervised by the Office of the Public Guardian, which investigates any allegations of abuse or wrongdoing. On the other hand, Deputies, are accountable to the COP and must provide annual reports detailing the decisions they have made and how they have acted in the person’s best interests.
How much does a LPA cost?
Creating a Lasting Power of Attorney is less costly than applying for a deputyship. Currently, the OPG’s registration fee per Lasting Power of Attorney is £82. The court fees for a deputyship application are significantly higher, and one should take into consideration ongoing costs, such as the deputy’s annual supervision fee. Legal fees for submitting an application to the COP is generally higher than preparing and registering a Lasting Power of Attorney.
Overall, there are several benefits to creating a Lasting Power of Attorney. By creating a Lasting Power of Attorney, the donor has more control. They are able to choose who they would like to appoint as their attorneys and they can insert clauses into the Lasting Power of Attorney if they have specific wishes or preferences as to how their affairs should be managed. This can give the individual peace of mind, knowing that their affairs will be managed by someone they trust should they lose capacity.
It is however important to emphasise that both arrangements may be appropriate in different circumstances. Therefore, it is important to seek legal advice to determine which option is best suited for your individual needs. To discuss this matter in more detail with an experienced solicitor at Hubbard Pegman & Whitney in Hammersmith please contact our experienced solicitors who will be able to assist you further