Lasting Power of Attorney
Creating a Lasting Power of Attorney enables you to choose who you would like to make decisions on your behalf, in the event that you are not able to do so yourself.
There are two types of Lasting Power of Attorney:-
- Property and financial affairs – this can include spending your money on your behalf; anything connected with your finances (your income, pensions, savings and investments) and selling your home
- Health and welfare – this can include making decisions about where you live; who can visit you and even giving or refusing consent to life-sustaining treatment
Powers of Attorney are powerful legal documents. They are also invaluable. Without proper advice and guidance they potentially give your attorneys complete control over all of your affairs and this might give rise to their misuse. A well-drafted Lasting Power of Attorney can save both you and your family an enormous amount of stress at what often can be a challenging time of life. However, appointing the right people and carefully considering the extent of the powers you wish them to use (including how and when you would like them to use them) requires careful consideration.
Obtaining legal advice to prepare and draw up your LPA will ensure that your LPA includes the correct amount of power for your attorneys. Our expertise will enable us to advise you if it would be appropriate to include some additional powers in your LPA, (without which your LPA may not be able to be used in the way you intended). Alternatively, we might recommend that it would be prudent to limit some of the automatic default powers – or to add an additional layer of protection in order to ensure your needs are deal with appropriately.
Autumn Years Law are skilled at helping you identify the most appropriate attorneys and powers for your circumstances. We also ensure that your Lasting Power of Attorney correctly complies with all of the legal formalities. This is important to ensure that your specific instructions do not fall foul of any legislative restrictions, which without the appropriate legal advice might result in a different outcome to what you had intended.
You may have specific ideas of how and when you want your LPA to be used and great care over the wording of these requirements is necessary to ensure that they will take proper effect. It is important to obtain timely legal advice on this wording before registration of the LPA otherwise you run the risk that either you (or your attorneys after you have lost capacity) may discover that your intentions are ineffective.
It is not possible for a LPA to be used until it has been registered and the registration process by the Office of the Public Guardian can take up to eight to ten weeks to take effect – this delay can add considerable stress to an emergency situation but can be easily avoided by making an LPA in advance of it needing to be used. However, making it in advance of it needing to be used does require full consideration of how it might need to be used in the future because either your (or your attorney’s) circumstances might change.
Quite often the trigger for creating a Lasting Power of Attorney is the diagnosis of a progressive medical condition, such as dementia and memory loss or Parkinson’s disease. Solicitor, Elizabeth Foggin has considerable experience in these situations and her sympathetic approach and understanding manner can help guide you through making life a little bit easier for you and your loved ones.
Our usual fees for providing advice relevant to your circumstances; preparing the LPA; where appropriate acting as your certificate provider; arranging the completion of the LPA by liaising with all parties to the deed (ie, attorneys, replacement attorneys, named people) and attending to the registration of the LPA with the Office of the Public Guardian and thereafter providing two certified copies of the registered LPA are as follows:-
- A Property & Financial Affairs Lasting Power of Attorney £300
- A Health & Welfare Lasting Power of Attorney £300
- Client due diligence check (identity check) £10
- Additional certified copies of a Lasting Power of Attorney £30 per copy
Autumn Years Law Ltd is not registered for VAT and therefore the fees are not subject to VAT.
The following other disbursement costs typically include
- Office of the Public Guardian Registration fee* £82 per LPA
- Bankruptcy search fee per attorney searched £2 per name searched
- Medical capacity statement (if required) between £25-£250 per individual depending upon the medical professional involved
- Where a professional appointment of Autumn Years Law is made, an independent certificate provider is required and typical costs are between £70-£100
* If your income is below £12,000 it is possible to apply for a reduction in the Office of the Public Guardian’s fee of £82. Instead it will be £41 per LPA being registered. Other exemptions are available to people in receipt of some other means tested benefits.
Enduring Power of Attorney
An Enduring Power of Attorney made before October 2007 is most probably still valid. However it is important to ensure that it is up-to-date and reflects your current needs. We are able to provide a free review of your Enduring Power of Attorney to make sure that it is still appropriate for your circumstances. We can also provide guidance on how it can be used.
In the event that you are becoming unable to manage your own financial affairs there is a legal obligation that is placed on your attorney’s to ensure that the Enduring Power of Attorney is registered at the Office of the Public Guardian. This is essential to protect both you and your attorney’s because failure to do so might render any decisions that they have made on your behalf void and your attorney’s might have to repay the money to your estate – even when they have acted in good faith.
Registration of an Enduring Power of Attorney requires adherence to strict legal formalities and here at Autumn Years Law we are able to help your attorney’s navigate their way through the registration process.
Being An Attorney
There are certain thing that an attorney can and cannot do. Getting it wrong can cause unnecessary heartache and stress. Autumn Years Law can provide attorney’s with guidance and assistance on fulfilling their legal obligations, including:-
- understanding the extent of their powers
- what they can and can’t do with your money
- help to keep proper accounts which they are legally obliged to do
- how to get care assessments for social service or NHS funding
Family Care Payments
If a family member has given up work to help care for you and you are assisting them financially it is important that the legal ramifications are considered.
Often these situations evolve through love and affection and there is usually no formal agreement in place. However, there is a risk that such payments are viewed with suspicion by other family members or perhaps by social services in the event that you require further assistance which your family are unable to provide.
If this situation fits your circumstances it is important to get legal advice to consider what you can do to protect both you and your family member.
Call Liz on 01704 870404 to make an appointment. If attending the office is a difficulty for you Liz can come and see you in the comfort of your home and also in either a hospital or care home setting.