Ensure your wishes are fulfilled with a Lasting Powers of Attorney
Appoint those whom you trust to look after your assets & home.
What if you couldn't make decisions for yourself?
If you could no longer make decisions for yourself, who would you trust more to look after your affairs – your family or a stranger from the Local Authority? If the answer is your family, then it is most important that you put in place Lasting Powers of Attorney (LPAs).
A Lasting Power of Attorney is a powerful legal document enabling you to appoint trusted individuals of your choice (an Attorney) to handle your affairs on your behalf if you cannot look after yourself through mental or physical incapacity. Your LPA should reflect your wishes and needs.
Lasting Power of Attorney for Property & Financial Affairs – This allows the persons appointed (The Attorneys) to make decisions about paying bills, dealing with banks and investments, arranging and collecting benefits and even selling property, on behalf of the Donor.
Lasting Power of Attorney for Health and Welfare – This allows the Attorney(s) to make decisions for the Donor such as care issues, where the donor lives, and, where the donor wishes, giving or refusing consent to life sustaining treatment.
No. It is too late to set up an LPA once you have a medical condition which causes mental incapacity. You could also become mentally incapable as the result of an accident or old age. Without an LPA in place the only way your financial affairs can be managed is by an application being made to the Court of Protection for a Deputyship Order.
You may have had discussions with loved ones about your wishes should the unthinkable happen, commonly life sustaining treatment, medication and long term care. Without an LPA in place those wishes may be irrelevant, a doctor or the Local Authority will decide on your behalf. Alongside this, your bank accounts and investments could also be frozen along with standing orders and direct debits to pay bills in your name. Even having a joint back account would not stop this happening.
If there is no LPA in place the Court of Protection will decide who looks after your affairs. This is not always the person you would have chosen. The Deputyship Order can take up to 10 months to obtain depending on the complexity of the case. This can cause a financial burden for your loved ones, having your assets frozen during this period. The Deputyship Order itself is also very expensive. It is not uncommon to exceed £3000 in court and solicitors fees, plus an annual fee of £500 is also payable. Once obtained, the Deputy must report to the Court/OPG at all times and may have to submit annual accounts for Court approval and receive periodical visits by a Court Visitor. A Deputy must account for every penny spent and any requests for money must be made to the Court in writing.
How does it work?
Before a Lasting Power of Attorney can be used by your attorney it must be registered with The Office of the Public Guardian (OPG). They charge a registration fee of £82 per Lasting Power of Attorney. If you would like us to register your LPA for you then we will ask you to provide this payment.
However, there can be an exemption for people who receive certain means-tested benefits, and a 50% fee reduction may be available based on the applicant’s financial circumstances or a reduction based on the applicant receiving Universal Credit. For details see Office of the Public Guardian fees.
Wills & Legal Services fixed fee Lasting Power of Attorney does not include The Office of the Public Guardian registration fee, nor their fee for a certified copy of a Lasting Power of Attorney which is currently £35.