Lasting Power of Attorney
A Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) – Property & Financial Affairs
We need to consider a Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) in case we lose mental capacity due to accident or illness. It would be exceedingly difficult and time consuming for our friends or family to assist in organising our property and financial affairs without a registered LPA. In addition there is another LPA for health and welfare which will be covered later.
Should we not have a LPA in place at the time we lose mental capacity, our friends or family would need to apply to the Court of Protection to be appointed a deputy. This is a very time consuming and expensive process. This causes unnecessary stress and anxiety at a time when events are themselves, stressful enough. By putting in place a Lasting Power of Attorney you are specifying that in the event of losing mental capacity who you would like to make financial decisions on your behalf.
If someone fails to have a LPA in place and requires a Solicitors assistance with the application for the appointment of a deputy this can be very expensive. The Solicitor can charge up to £ 850.00 + VAT*. In addition whether you involve a Solicitor or not there is an application fee of £400.00* payable to the Court of Protection.
There is also an annual supervision fee of up to £ 320.00* dependent on the level of supervision necessary. Generally speaking the supervision fee will be £ 320.00 per annum unless assets are below £ 19500.00 in which case it will be lower.
In addition, a security bond would also need to be put in place and these can typically cost on average £ 500.00* per annum based on an estate valued at £ 250,000. This acts as a kind of Insurance to cover the deputy that is appointed, should they act incorrectly.
There is no guarantee that the court will appoint the person putting themselves forward as a deputy.
If a deputy such as a Solicitor is appointed by the Court of Protection instead then Annual Management Fees can be up to £ 1500.00 pa + VAT* in the first year. In subsequent years fees of £ 1185.00 + VAT* can be charged.
In addition the annual reporting that needs to be done to the Office of the Public Guardian should a Solicitor be appointed as a deputy there will be charges for. A Solicitor can charge up to £ 235.00 + VAT* for the annual reporting that needs to be done to the Office of the Public Guardian. In addition they can charge £ 235.00 + VAT* for filing an annual tax return on behalf of the client.
The only certain way of eliminating this unnecessary expense is by putting in place a Lasting Power of Attorney and having it registered before mental capacity has been lost.
You have choices in respect of doing something about arranging a Lasting Power of Attorney now or delaying implementation until a later date. If you need what a Lasting Power of Attorney does in the future, the process of obtaining approval from the Court of Protection is very time consuming, expensive and an onerous process to go through.
Lasting Power of Attorney (LPA) – Health & Welfare
This works differently to a Property & Financial Affairs LPA as it concerns decisions about your personal health & welfare. This will include such things as where you live, your day-to-day care or having medical treatment.
Registration of a Lasting Power of Attorney
Either type of LPA will need to be registered with the Office of the Public Guardian (OPG) before it can be used. An unregistered LPA will not give your Attorneys any legal powers to make decisions for you. You can register your LPA now when you have mental capacity or the Attorneys can apply to register the LPA at any time. Clearly there is tremendous inconvenience caused if an LPA has not been registered when needed. We are hearing of periods of up to 9 weeks from the time of sending in paperwork for the registration to take effect. This means 9 weeks where your family and friends do not have the legal power to look after your affairs.
Mandara Wills is expertly positioned to arrange a Lasting Power of Attorney for clients at a fraction of the cost you would endure should one be required but not be in place.
If you are still unsure whether you should bother with arranging a Lasting Power of Attorney then please read the Heather Batemen story.
For professional advice from Will Writers in Surrey please contact Mandara Wills at their East Horsley Office on 01483 286852
*Court of Protection Website www.justice.gov.uk